Over the course of its 13 seasons, Supernatural has boasted a number of beloved characters, both male and female, but the center of the show always has been and always will be Sam and Dean Winchester. But from the moment that Alex Jones went to stay with Jody Mills — followed by Claire Novak doing the same a year later — the writers realized they might have another show on their hands. And thanks to a passionate fan outcry for what they called Wayward Daughters — which fans theorized would follow Jody and Donna Hanscum as they train girls how to fight monsters — the show is about to premiere the backdoor pilot for Wayward Sisters, a female-led potential spin-off.
In its backdoor pilot, Wayward Sisters will bring together known characters Jody Mills, Donna Hanscum, Alex Jones, Claire Novak, Patience Turner, and Kaia Nieves as they work to bring Sam and Dean back from The Bad Place. “Supernatural has had a lot of really fantastic female characters, but at its core, it is kind of a mono-gendered entity,” executive producer Robert Berens says. “It’s got this male melodrama soap opera quality that’s so rich and interesting and actually fairly unique in genre TV. So making this an all-female ensemble [felt like] the exact right move to make. We have not seen a genre show where all the conflicts are filtered through that sensibility and embodied by female characters. I think that was definitely something that excited us about this.”
And yes, there will be conflict. In the backdoor pilot alone, Claire and Jody butt heads about Claire’s decision to hunt on her own, not to mention the careless way she seems to walk into any hunt. “We’ll explore a lot of what that means for Claire to open herself up to the love and support of Jody, to open herself up to the love and support of these other sister characters,” Berens says. “And it’s a really difficult arc for her. She’s so essential to the show because she’s the risk-taker. If Jody were steering the ship, every plan they executed would be safety-tested to make sure no one was taking any unnecessary risks. The last thing Jody wants is to lose another child. I think that tension between Jody and Claire really drives the pilot and will drive the series as well. Claire’s both the biggest hero and the character with the most to learn.”
Unlike Supernatural, Wayward will focus its action in one place: Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a location that will be further explained in the backdoor pilot, and yet another thing that sets it apart from the flagships series. “One is a very male show, the other one would be a very female show,” executive producer Andrew Dabb says of the differences between Supernatural and Wayward. “One is a road show. Wayward will be localized in Sioux Falls. It allows us to really create a world, not only in terms of populating it with people and places but bonus character elements. Keeping them in this place, you have a little more sense of belonging, a little more sense of community, which we don’t really have on Supernatural just because it is such a road show. Sam and Dean have a community, it just happens to be a little bit of a hodgepodge of various hunters, demons, and angels. But here, it’s more location-based storytelling.”
All differences aside, the core of Wayward will be made up of two things Supernatural fans know and love: hunting and family. “As we’ve talked about Wayward, as we’ve talked about should we be lucky enough to go forward into a season, it’s something we’re really, really excited about,” Dabb says. “These are characters that everyone wants to see more of.”
The backdoor pilot for Wayward Sisters airs Thursday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.