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When it was finally released to the public on what would become The CW network, "Supernatural" had been through around ten years of development by showrunner Erik Kripke and various network executives. The long period of development would allow the show to become one of the best-reviewed on cable TV with 14 seasons and a Christmas special to its name.
"Supernatural," tells the story of brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester who were separated as children following the mysterious death of their mother and the disappearance of their father. The show begins in 1983 with Sam and Dean's mother hearing strange sounds coming from the nursery of the infant Sam before entering to investigate. A strange figure is seen standing over the crib as Sam cries and his mother attempts to fight off the intruder. Sam's father, John Winchester investigates the disturbance and finds his wife pinned to the ceiling before she bursts into flames and the home burns to the ground.
The show switched to 22 years in the future when Sam is a happy and successful student at law school celebrating his success in his exams. As his life appears to be changing to success, Sam's brother Dean arrives and explains their father has disappeared while hunting a supernatural being meaning Dean needs Sam's help in finding their father. Over the course of the first episode, Sam and Dean discuss the history of their parents with Sam saying he does not want to follow the life of his father which has been devoted to trying to find the supernatural entity which killed their mother.
Instead, Sam tells his brother he will help him find their father and then return to his legal studies. The recent work of their father was focused on the town of Jericho where single men have been disappearing for many decades along an isolated stretch of road. A local urban legend gives details of a young woman who killed herself at a nearby bridge following her boyfriend jilting her and prompting her suicide.
The journey of Sam and Dean Winchester sees them arrive at a nearby motel where their father rented a room which still stands in disarray. The Winchester's look through the research completed by their father and realize the number of ghosts, demons, and entities living in the world is huge and could lead them anywhere. The brothers begin by trying to solve the mystery of the missing young men which they hope will begin their quest to resolve some of the issues they have with their parents.
Although he was classed as the showrunner on "Supernatural", Erik Kripke always stated the process of writing the different episodes was a collaborative process which included a team of writers and researchers. Kripke had written the movie, "Boogeyman" prior to his arrival as the head writer on "Supernatural." Since the launch of "Supernatural," Kripke has spent the majority of his time working in television with a series of shows launched including "Revolution" and Timeless."
The casting of the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester was seen as vital to the success of the show for showrunner Erik Kripke. The role of Sam Winchester may be the one Jared Padalecki is best known for but he has also worked on a number of successful productions on TV and film. After a large amount of academic success in high school, Padalecki abandoned his dream of attending the University of Texas in favor of a move to Hollywood to pursue his acting ambitions. Padalecki eventually found fame in the "Gilmore Girls" and the Olsen Twins movie vehicle, "New York Minute" before starting his career-defining role in "Supernatural."
Also from Texas, Jensen Ackles plays Dean Winchester in "Supernatural" which has not stopped him from taking on various roles on stage, film, and other TV shows. Ackles began his professional acting career with a role on the U.S. daytime soap opera, "Days of our Lives" which won him a Daytime Emmy. Alongside appearing in the critically-acclaimed stage version of "AFew Good Men" alongside Lou Diamond Phillips, Ackles has lent his voice to a number of animated shows and video games.
Erick Kripke had been working on his dream of bringing a supernatural anthology show to the TV for a number of years when he was given the chance to pitch a series of ideas to The CW. The original version of "Supernatural" saw two tabloid reporters traveling the nation seeking to uncover the truth about various urban legends and uncovering a larger number of demons causing problems for the people of the U.S. Executives at The CW were not impressed by the tabloid reporters idea and Kripke came up with the idea of two brothers investigating urban legends during his first production meeting.
Writing each episode is a collaborative effort for Kripke and his dedicated team of writers and researchers. The development of "Supernatural" episodes begins with Kripke and his producers identifying the urban myths each episode will revolve around which is followed by a period of research and development. The impressive nature of "Supernatural" is backed up by the different executive producers and directors who have worked on the show, which includes McG and "Game of Thrones" director David Nutter. Over the course of "Supernatural," the locations of the show have changed from Los Angeles to British Columbia, Canada. The various themes and aspects of the show have led to it becoming a success in Australia and around the world after it switched to the Amazon Prime streaming platform.
Overall, the general consensus among critics and viewers is of a series which took its first season to find its real direction and position. The mixed reviews for the first season include a rating of just over 60 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and just under 60 percent on Metacritic. Much of the praise for the first season was reserved for the dialog which was praised for its fast pace and the hip references which have changed over the course of 14 seasons. As "Supernatural" has moved forward, it has become more impressive in the view of critics with Kripke stepping back into a part-time consultancy role for later seasons.
The success of "Supernatural" was always dependent on the chemistry between the leads playing real-life brothers. To bring the two together, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles lived together from the start of filming in 2005 until both married their current partners. Shooting in British Columbia, Canada means the locations of "Supernatural" may be familiar to many viewers who will have seen them in other popular TV shows. The series shares many locations with "The X-Files" and "Smallville."