'Supernatural' creator Eric Kripke and producers celebrate 200 episodes
VANCOUVER, BC. Three weeks ago, I had a position on the 200th Episode Gala red carpet for The CW's "Supernatural," a little-show-that-could that has gone from being seemingly near cancellation a few years ago to taking a regular place as one of the network's steadiest hits.
Over the course of nearly two hours of red carpet time, I had swift and efficient conversations with many of the people who make the '67 Impala that is "Supernatural" hum and purr.
I talked with stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, who have anchored "Supernatural" from the beginning, but also with co-stars including fan favorites Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard and Internet favorite Felicia Day, plus a trio of writers and producers.
With the 200th "Supernatural" episode airing on Tuesday (November 11), I'll be running those quick Q&As in three parts, starting this this series of red carpet chats with a slew of the key creative forces from "Supernatural" past and present.
"Supernatural" has gone through several writers' room waves and I talked to featured players from several of those waves starting with series creator Eric Kripke, who ran the show in its infancy, but then went off to work on other projects, including NBC's "Revolution."
I also chatted with Robert Singer, who has been a "Supernatural" writer-director-producer from the very beginning, providing continuity through several showrunning administrations.
And I gabbed with Adam Glass, an EP and writer who counts as a relative newcomer because his first credits didn't come until 2010.
Check out the trio of producer Q&As... And stay tuned for separate stories with the supporting actors and then the stars...
HitFix: What is it like seeing your little baby all grown up at 200?
Eric Kripke: I would say it's surreal and very humbling. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would go to 200 episodes and I'm just so grateful to the fans. They really brought the show this far.
HitFix: When you look at the show now and you think back on your original conception, how do you reflect on the evolution and how things have changed over the years?
Eric Kripke: I'm proud of it. Honestly, I look at "Supernatural" as like the kid I sent off to college. I'm not in charge of its decisions anymore, but I'm so damn proud of what it's doing. It's a really durable structure and one of the things that I'm most proud of is that it's able to support new creators and new writers coming in and putting their imprint on the show. Sera's tenure on the show is different from Jeremy's tenure on the show, which is different from my tenure on the show. Each one has its own vibe and its own energy and yet is still always about Sam & Dean and Jared & Jensen and their connection. I'm just really proud that it keeps evolving. I think one of the secrets to its longevity is that it never gets repetitive.
HitFix: Talk a bit about those people you chose and the people you were able to watch nurture the shows as individuals. Talk about the different imprints Sera, Jeremy, etc have left.
Eric Kripke: I think Sera has always had an emphasis on character and emotion that, frankly, I've never been as good at and I think she was really able, I look at her seasons as really being able, to just kinda dimensionalize The Boys. And Jeremy has this sense of humor and grasp of just kinda a rollicking paced mythology that I think he brought to it, a snarky banter that he's able to bring. So yeah. I'm proud as hell of both of them.
HitFix: One thing I like is how consistently you guys have been able to make fun of those early seasons and specifically those early episodes. What was the moment at which you started being able to do that?
Eric Kripke: I would say the first time we really started taking the piss out of ourselves was "Hollywood Babylon" in Season 2 and that was the first time we were starting to poke fun at the actual show, so we were doing it early, from the middle of Season 2. But I'm a huge -- It's obvious from watching the show -- but I'm a huge fan of meta. I think meta is hilarious and being able to show that you know your own faults and you know your own blemishes and you don't take any of it too seriously is, I think, healthy and we're happy to communicate that.
HitFix: But how about within the writers' room? At what were you able to go, "OK. Maybe that wasn't the show we wanted to be making, but now we're making the show we want to be making."
Eric Kripke: We've always been making the show we wanted to make. We just always knew that you have good episodes and bad episodes and we're just not afraid to poke some fun at the bad episodes.
HitFix: There was the moment at which the show was shipped off to Friday nights and that's generally considered the Kiss of Death. What kind of odds would you have given me at that time that you'd be at a part like this?
Eric Kripke: I mean, right now I think the odds are two percent that I would be here. I've never counted my chickens before they've hatched. Every season, I thought, was going to be the last season. I've always said at the beginning of every single season of the show when I was running the show in the writers' room, "This is the last season, so let's smoke 'em if we've got 'em." And that's always been our attitude. There's always been a recklessness that we always thought we were about to die, so we might as well go crazy. So I'd say I thought the odds on Friday were the same as when we premiered, as the same as whenever they moved us. I always was sure we were about to be canceled.
HitFix: But now you're confident you'll make it to the 200th episode?
Eric Kripke: I don't know. We're gonna see how the night goes, but I'm hopeful we can make it to the 200th.