Supernatural Scrapbook 2004-05

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Promo poster for Supernatural

September 13 2004:
A report on a new WB show in development from

Described as "Route 66" meets "The X Files," "Supernatural" focuses on two twentysomething brothers who battle the things that go bump in the night as they cruise the dusty backroads of small-town America in their '64 Mustang.

"We had been talking internally about wanting to do a show that truly scares and creeps you out, and (McG and Kripke) came in and pitched this show that not only serviced that need in our development but truly entertained us with the mythology and eeriness that they want to convey in the show," WB Network entertainment president David Janollari said. "The notion of doing a dramatic show that focuses on a really unique brother dynamic and allows us to enter worlds that scare us and creep us out each week to me is a great recipe."

Early reports on "Supernatural" in the development stage:

Kripke: At one point I wanted to do an anthology show. Another time, I wanted to do a series about a reporter who works for a tabloid magazine, pretty much a rip-off of the original Kolchak: The Night Stalker. And then, finally, just through development with the studio, settled on this idea of telling these stories in the format of this Route 66: Great American Road Trip with these two brothers. Well, it worked well.

Eric Kripke: It's sort of funny how it all worked out. I literally had scribbled [the idea] in a notebook the day before my meeting with the studio, and then I came into the studio and had pitched them my reporter idea. And they didn't like it. They said, "What else do you got?" I didn't have anything. So, I tap danced and said, "Well, I got this great idea about two brothers on a road trip." They loved it, and it ended up being the show. So, it's funny how that works out.
  • Early draft of Pilot. Mary Harrison dies in what everyone thinks is a car accident when her sons are 9 and 11. After her death their father - Jack Harrison - leaves Sam and Dean and they are raised by an aunt and uncle.

When we started casting, we had archetypes in mind, which were Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. We were really looking for Sam to be empathetic, kind, and likeable, and really the audience surrogate. The person who the audience would most see themselves as and really carry the story through their eyes. And that required a really unique likeability. For Dean, we were looking for Han Solo. We were looking for devil-may-care, charismatic, a little rough around the edges, a little edgy, says things that are not always the kindest thing, as long as they're funny. And that was really what we started out with.

Promo still shot during the filming of the Pilot

And Jared and Jensen both just so inhabited those parts, and then proceeded to blow us away with how dimensionalized they were. For Jensen, the level of emotion and totally flawed, screwed-to-hell psyche that he brings to Dean, we really are enamored with. This idea that on the surface here's this Han Solo devil-may-care persona, but when you really scratch beneath the surface, you see that anyone who has that persona has it because they are just so messed up, and that you would have to be so screwed up and damaged to be the person who always jumps first off a cliff.

So, he really brought Dean to life in a really three-dimensional way, and Jared did the same thing with Sam. Yes, Sam was likeable, and the audience surrogate and all the things he was supposed to be, but also angry, and disaffected, and, at times, hilariously funny, loyal, and despondent. He brought in all of these different colors that have really brought these characters to life, which I think is probably very rare for a genre show to have--characters as dimensionalized as ours--and I'm really proud of it. It has a lot to do with Bob Singer and the other writers probably more than it had to do with me. I came in just looking for good kills, and through the talents and abilities of the actors and the writers, they just brought these guys to life in a way I never really dreamed, obviously.

Promo poster for Supernatural

January 17 2005:
from the Futon Critic:

SUPERNATURAL (The WB) - David Nutter ("Smallville") has come aboard to direct and executive produce the drama project, which has been given the green light to produce a pilot. Writer/producer Eric Kripke ("Tarzan") created the project, which is set up at McG and Stephanie Savage's Warner Bros. Television-based Wonderland Sound and Vision, and will executive produce along with Nutter, McG and Savage. "Supernatural" revolves around two brothers who travel the country hunting down supernatural beings.

February 16:
from the Futon Critic:

SUPERNATURAL (The WB) - Jared Padalecki ("Gilmore Girls") and Jensen Ackles ("Smallville") have been cast in the lead roles of the drama pilot, described as a cross between "The X-Files" and "Route 66." The Warner Bros. Television/Wonderland Sound and Vision-based project revolves around Sam, a recent Stanford graduate, who along with his estranged older brother Dean encounter unusual ghosts and local creatures straight out of American folk lore and urban legends during a road trip from San Francisco back home to Los Angeles. It's not clear who plays Sam and who plays Dean. David Nutter, who has been behind 10 successful pilots in the past decade, is directing the project from a script by Eric Kripke. The pair will also executive produce alongside McG, Stephanie Savage and Peter Johnson.
Promo shot done during the Pilot

March 22:
from the Futon Critic:

SUPERNATURAL (The WB) - A few additional details have emerged about the drama pilot, which stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as brothers who encounter unusual ghosts and local creatures straight out of American folk lore and urban legends during a road trip across America. It's been learned that the brothers go on said adventure in order to track down the forces responsible for their mother's murder 20 years earlier. Eric Kripke, McG, Stephanie Savage and Peter Johnson are the executive producers of the Warner Bros. Television/Wonderland Sound and Vision-based project. David Nutter directs.

The 1.01 Pilot films in L.A. during March/April

May 17: WB Upfronts 2005-06
Supernatural confirmed for The WB Fall Schedule - set to air on Tuesdays after "Gilmore Girls".

Jared and Jensen interviewed during the WB Upfronts

June 26 It's a hard knock life
LA Times feature on 70 year old stunt man Eddy Dono, who worked on the 1.01 Pilot

On the set of "Supernatural" at the Sable Ranch near Santa Clarita last March, executive producer and writer Eric Kripke reveled in describing Eddy's stunts. "Eddy got splattered with blood last night, and it was great," Kripke said with a laugh. "We fog up the windows and we splatter this blood ... against the window, but Eddy is inside the car igniting the mortar" -- an explosive that would lift the vehicle -- "and all the blood goes flying all over Eddy, and Eddy comes out and says, 'You don't pay me enough for this [expletive].' "

The following night, Donno climbed into the Impala and crashed it into the house.

July 8:
First review of the Pilot, ahead of airing at Dark Horizons

This is an interesting new X-Files meets the OC, meets Buffy type show from the WB which is being positioned after the Gilmore Girls, the show stars Rory's former deflowerer play by Jared Padalecki who plays Sam Winchester the younger brother of Dean Winchester played by Jensen Ackles of Smallville fame....Overall I would rate this as a possible half season run, I can't imagine the same people who tune in to see the Gilmore charm and intellect are going to find this Buffy want-a-be anything but lacking.

Review of Supernatural at Twiz TV

July 17: Comic Con
The 1.01 Pilot airs at Comic Con.

July 23: WB Networks All Star Celebrations Jared and Jensen appear with the other WB stars at The Cabana Club Los Angeles, California United States.

July 29: TCA Summer Tour 2005 from

At the TCA (Television Critics Association) Tour, Padalecki said series creator and executive producer Eric Kripke encouraged the actors to do research into the stories that they will be exploring, but he had already come to the role with a certain knowledge of the subject matter. "My mom is actually a heroes, myths and legends teacher, so I knew a lot about archetypes and mythology and the classic stories," he said. "I had heard of the woman in white, which is what the pilot's about. I've heard of Bloody Mary and the hook man and the lady in the lake. I mean, hopefully that's stuff that we'll get to explore, but it's stuff that everybody knows."

WB Networks All Star Celebrations

August 10:
from Buffalo News:

Eric Kripke, the creator of "Supernatural," which is about two brothers exploring small town ghost stories and urban legend across the country, said he's been trying to get the series on the air since his first TV meeting eight years ago.

"The planets aligned and the timing worked out," explained Kripke.

Robert Singer, a veteran producer who joined "Supernatural" after the pilot starring Jared Padalecki ("Gilmore Girls") and Jensen Ackles ("Smallville") was made, takes a more worldly, post-Sept. 11 view of the six-show invasion.

"To get political, I think given the state of where we are in reality today, kind of a good spooky supernatural show might be what we need," said Singer.

August 11:
Promo insert

The WB will place a special insert in two upcoming September issues of Wenner Media's Rolling Stone and Us Weekly to promote new Fall show, Supernatural, premiering Sept. 13.

When readers open the magazine to the ad, the insert will play a 20-second song clip “Out of My Hands,” by the Dave Matthews Band, dialogue between the two main characters—brothers Sam and Dean Winchester—and a voiceover that gives a quick show summary and premier date. The ad will also have two flashing yellow lights that look like car headlights of a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, the same model the show's main characters drive.

The insert, produced by WB and Americhip, will appear in the Sept. 12 issue of US Weekly and the Sept. 22 issue of Rolling Stone.

August 15: Supernatural studs kick some butt First mention of Jared and Jensen offscreen together in a bar brawl

When "Supernatural" premieres on The WB on September 13, be sure to pay close attention to the fight sequences. The stars of the occult-themed thriller, "Smallville's" Jensen Ackles and "Gilmore Girls'" Jared Padalecki, have been trained quite well. According to Page Six, the actors, who play brothers on the show, were attacked by a group of drunken thugs one night after filming in Vancouver. The pack of unruly goons "mistook Jared and Jensen for two guys who had hassled them earlier in the evening," according to the show's co-executive producer Peter Johnson. But instead of running off, Jared and Jensen took on the group, using the martial arts training they received for "Supernatural". "They picked the wrong pair," said Johnson, who says the gang of drunks needed an ambulance after their fight with the actors. Padalecki and Ackles, however, suffered only minor injuries.

The brawl was later mentioned in a Zap2It article September 10:

Kim Manners directing Jensen and Jared for the first time in 1.03 Dead in the Water

The two actors carried their sibling relationship off the show's Vancouver set recently when Ackles inadvertently led Padalecki into a real-life bar brawl that left the latter with a broken hand.

"When we walked into the place, there had just been a fight inside the bar, but we didn't know that yet," Padalecki explains. "When we started hearing them talking about the fight, we decided it was best to leave, but when we went back to the front, the guys there thought we were some of the guys they had been fighting with so they basically continued the fight again."

"It was life imitating art," Ackles jokes. "I've just got to play the role of older brother and show this young whippersnapper how they do things in Vancouver."

Pre-airing promo by The WB

August 17: From USA Today:

Kripke (Boogeyman), joined as a producer by McG (Charlie's Angels) and Robert Singer (Midnight Caller), acknowledges the success of ABC's Lost in making it easier for these kinds of shows to get on the air. They reflect an uncertain post-9/11 spirit in which an enemy "is not only out to get us. He could be living among us."

Although Supernatural may fit with the times, Kripke, 31, has been nurturing this idea for almost a decade. He considers himself a disciple of the late Joseph Campbell and his examinations of mythology. The names of the two lead characters are an homage to the wandering Sal and Dean of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. And Kripke also cites contemporary signposts, including Star Wars and The Matrix, when discussing the heroes' journey.

Structurally, Supernatural will be made up primarily of self-contained episodes: "They'll be driving into town to kill that evil and then they'll drive back into the sunset," Kripke says. A longer thread including their search for their father will be established over time.
Image from Official Website

September 3: Official Website
The WB launch their Official Website for Supernatural.

September 6: The WB pairs with Yahoo and makes the Pilot of Supernatural free via streaming beginning at 9:00 pm EST/6:00 pm PST on Tuesday, September 6th through Monday, September 12th. Ahead of the official airing on The WB.

September 13: The show premieres on The WB at 9/8c on September 13th. It attracted the time period's highest adult 18-49 rating for the WB in two years, improving over the One Tree Hill premiere in 2004 by 19%. See also Ratings

September 30: Jared appears on The Ellen Show and talks about his accident while filming "Flight of the Phoenix"

October 6: Supernatural is given full season pickup by The WB

David Janollari, the network's President, Entertainment:

SUPERNATURAL has delivered in a huge way for us, with genuinely scary episodes every week, and it just keeps getting better, said Janollari. Eric Kripke, McG and Bob Singer have done a terrific job executing their vision and we expect the show to be a long-term player at The WB.
Behind the scenes during the filming of 1.07 Hookman

November 3: early Jared interview

Padalecki describes Sam as "a classic reluctant hero. He's Luke Skywalker. He's Neo from The Matrix. He doesn't know why he's able to do what he's able to do, and he doesn't know why he kinda has to, but he has this ability. Not anything magical, or anything supernatural, but this understanding and ability to help others, so he feels compelled to do so."

November 22