Supernatural‘s near-paranormal longevity was questioned by critics at the show’s Television Critics Association press tour panel Friday, where stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles took the stage along with executive producer Jeremy Carver. Going into its 10th season, Supernatural is one of the longest-running dramas on TV and still solidly performing in the ratings for The CW. Earlier in the morning, CW president Mark Pedowitz told reporters he’s also still interested in a spin-off despite Bloodlines not moving forward last season.
But as to the question of how long this show can go on … the trio gave similar answers:
Padalecki: “If the show quality diminishes, which I have no doubt that it will not in [Carver’s] capable hands, but if the show ever reaches a spot where we get a phone call, ‘You know what guys, we feel what needs to be said has been said’ [then I’d stop] … I truly do deeply care about the show and about Sam Winchester. I’m 32 years old tomorrow and I spent 9 years of my life with him, and so I don’t want him to be broken down and beaten down into something that I end up not respecting. I respect this character and this show and the writers and my fellow actors and actresses. I think we know the show enough, our characters enough, that if there’s an end coming I think we’ll all see it and we don’t have to push it to the ‘I Love LA’ levels. I’ve got some kids now and a wife. I love my personal life very, very much and when it’s time to hang up the Sam Winchester hat, I’ll welcome that chapter.”
Carver: “In terms of how long the show can go, I think what pretty much impresses me most about not just these guys but the rest of the cast and the crew and the writers is it remains the hardest working bunch I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. And that starts with these guys and continues to Bob Singer, who would be here but he’s directing an episode right now. I hate to go all military now but there’s no quit in anybody. That starts with the stories and that continues on with the execution … There’s so much story left to tell, it’s sort of remarkable to think about given that we’re in season 129 already — no, we’re very excited to keep telling this story.”
Ackles: “I think we’re all on the same page. We still get excited by it and I think that that hasn’t tarnished in 10 years. And I remember getting the last script of season 9, the season finale, and I got all giddy about it. I was excited to see what happens in season 10. I think as long as there’s that fulfillment, that enjoyment, that excitement, then, yeah, we will keep going, as long as people are hanging in with us and are still entertained. We love these stories.”
As for what the ending might be … Does Carver have a specific ending in mind?
“I have to answer it per the usual — a little bit around the bend — just because I know that [creator] Eric Kripke always had an ending in mind [that] he hasn’t yet shared with me,” the writer-producer said. “And I have an image … but I always want to keep room for happy accidents as well. The show is continuing beyond any of our wildest dreams so I don’t think we want to limit ourselves. Just because I might have the perfect image in my head doesn’t mean that one of these guys can’t come up with something.”
To which Jared replied: “You realize you just invited us to write the ending, right?”
— Marc Snetiker contributed to this report