Supernatural is returning to The CW for its 14th season this fall, but the long-running series has a major change on the horizon. While the show has always been about the relationship between Sam and Dean Winchester, one of the beloved brothers will be absent for a good chunk of the upcoming season.
Dean's body was taken over at the end of last season, turning him into the archangel, Michael. So, while it may look like Dean is around this season, it's a very different character altogether.
According to co-showrunner Andrew Dabb, the lack of Dean made this an extremely difficult season to write.
“The show’s built upon two pillars, and those two pillars are Sam and Dean," Dabb told TVLine. “We’ve taken Sam away for little chunks of time here and there, but never in a huge way. He’s been soulless and things like that, but he’s still kind of present. Demon Dean was kind of a one-episode thing, and largely, the action happened off-screen.”
"One of the pillars of the show is gone, basically, and that, in some ways, makes things very difficult, because the show is Sam and Dean, and their interplay,” Dabb continued.
Again, just because Dean is away, doesn't mean there will be any lack of Jensen Ackles, who has a huge challenge facing him this season.
“It’s challenging to write episodes without Dean Winchester in them, because he is such a fundamental part of the show. But it’s also exciting [for] Jensen and us [to have] the opportunity to play around with this new character,” Dabb added.
"It gives some other characters a bit of breathing room in terms of Castiel and Jack, and Mary and Bobby," Dabb said.
"The hardest thing about a show like this, sometimes, is every year, you have to create the new Big Bad,” he explained. “You have to build that character. You have to build that actor to find a comfort level with the show and everything else. With Jensen playing Michael, there’s none of that. This is an actor who everyone loves, who knows exactly what the show is, who knows exactly who he is, who knows exactly [and] very smartly how to approach this character. So it’s really given us, like instantly, a great bad guy, which is kind of obvious, but it’s something where you’re like, ‘Oh, wow, that’s really, really cool.'”
Lastly, Dabb took the chance to sing the praises of the man bringing both Dean and Michael to life. “Jensen’s doing an amazing job of bringing a lot to it,” he said.
Are you excited for the new adventures on the way in Supernatural Season 14? Do you already miss Dean Winchester? Let us know in the comments!
Supernatural returns for Season 14 on Thursday, October 11 at 8pm ET on The CW.