Supernatural May 2020 EW cover
Credit: Peggy Sirota for EW
Devil's Bargain

On March 22, 2019, Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins shared a video on social media announcing that the beloved CW show's 15th season would be its last. But at that point, ending the show had been an ongoing conversation for years.

Co-showrunner Andrew Dabb remembers flying up to the Vancouver set at the start of season 12 and sitting down with Ackles and Padalecki. "When we had that conversation, I was like, 'I think we've got a good three to four years of stories left to tell with these characters at least,'" Dabb says. As Ackles puts it, "We had been kicking that ball around for probably about three seasons and it was never like 'We're done, let's move on.' It was like, 'Let's start planning an exit strategy.'

"[Jared] and I were always married to the fact that we never wanted to go out with a diet version of what we had," Ackles continues. "We wanted to have enough gas left in the tank to get us racing across the finish line. We didn’t want to limp across." As the conversations surrounding ending became more and more frequent, "it just kind of came together," Ackles says. "So Jared and I sat down with Andrew and [co-showrunner] Bob [Singer] and talked about what it could look like and what were the different scenarios, and this one seemed like the best one."

When it came to exit strategies, there was a clear winner. "We were in the end zone," Collins says. "And Andrew gave the rationale of, 'We can stretch this to two or three years or we could go out with one really great final season,' and that sounded like a really good note to end on and I think that's ultimately what Jared and Jensen rallied around."

At the end of season 14, they made it official. They'd get 20 final episodes to take Sam and Dean home. "We had that moment where he and I both realized that we didn’t want it to end," Padalecki says. "It finally got to a point, ironically, where it was like, 'I never want to leave this. I could do this until the day I die, and then if I get the choice when I’m dead, I’ll re-up!' But you never want to be the last person at a party. We just knew. That’s not to say there haven’t been vacillations, but we all trust the decision that was made."

The CW's Chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz jokes that he "begged" them to stay, but ultimately, everyone agreed it was time to say goodbye. "Hopefully I'm still around when they try to do the remake," Pedowitz says with a laugh.

To celebrate 15 years of Supernatural, pre-order the new issue of Entertainment Weekly or both of our collector’s covers. Fans can also purchase a special poster featuring Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and Jared Padalecki now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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Devil's Bargain

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.

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