Ever since the words Supernatural Spinoff were uttered a few months ago, the fandom for The CW smash has been buzzing for any kind of scoop, news or information about the episode that will serve as a backdoor pilot for the intriguing new series.
And it finally airs tomorrow night.
While there's plenty of Sam and Dean in Supernatural Season 9 Episode 20 - as the brothers head to Chicago and get pulled into a world of feuding monster crime families - the proposed new series star Lucien Laviscount, Nathanliel Buzolic, Danielle Savre, Sean Faris, Stephen Martines, Bryce Johnson and Melissa Roxburgh.
All will appear on this week's special installment.
Supernatural scribe Andrew Dabb penned the Bloodlines episode and talked with TV Fanatic about what we can expect ; why Chicago was the perfect setting; how much we might see Sam and Dean moving forward; and this being The CW, just how sexy the spinoff will be...
TV Fanatic: Do you have the weight of the world on your shoulders? This spinoff's potential is huge!
Andrew Dabb: No, Jim, I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and the weight of nothing. I mean, at this time the episode is done, though I hope people really enjoy it and I really hope it moves forward and would love to do more. But at this point, it just gets to that stage where you're done already; you're just waiting for people to react. So I will be live on Twitter watching that Tuesday night. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.
TVF: Now, when you guys were crafting this back door pilot, how did you keep the fans in your head or not in your head, because, as you know, they're a very vocal group.
AD: Our fans are great. And they are very vocal but in a very good way. For us, as we were cracking this pilot, what we wanted to avoid doing was, like, Supernatural: Miami, where we take another group of hunters and put them in another place and just focus on them, for a couple of reasons.
One is, we've done 200 episodes of that already and the other reason is because Supernatural is going into season 10 and I think everyone involved hopes it’s going to go beyond that…in the new show there will be less emphasis on angels and demons and things like that, because those are not really the core concept in Supernatural, the mother ship.
So it was very important for us for the fans to no know [that] we never thought about this because we'd been asked this question, ‘did you think about this as a replacement for the Supernatural?’ We never thought about it like that. Again, it's like the universe can exist alongside it but it's in no way meant to come in and steal Supernatural's thunder.
TVF: Why Chicago? Why was that a good spot when you could’ve gone anywhere?
AD: For us it came down to a couple things. It came down to the Midwest location, a big city location and Chicago has a great history with the mob stuff like Capone but, also, Chicago's really full of cult history, you now, a darker history…so we thought there was just a ton of history that we could kind of play with and it’s also a beautiful city.
TVF: In the preview, this world is referred to as ‘The Godfather with fangs.’ Talk to me about the family element to the show.
AD: Family has always been the core of Supernatural. It’s what has allowed the show to keep going for years and years and family being not the family you’re born into but the family you make along the way...Bobby was part of the family, Castiel's part of the family and Crowley is like the weird uncle in the family.
So for us, it was the family angle but we're looking at Chicago and we were looking at monster psychology. You've got monsters that are out there - most of them are monsters that use humans as a food source. And the monsters Sam and Dean encounter are mostly in the country and they go to the town and kill a few people and then are hunted down. But if you're a monster and you're looking for ample resources you would go to a city.
And then with the mob thing, you've got the five families; you've got the werewolf family and the shape shifter family, kind of our two big ones, and then looking at the fun of it is all the family dynamics. And also, the dynamics between the families, there are grudges and bad blood and very Hatfield & McCoy type stuff and things like that so it’s offering up a lot of possibilities.
TVF: We’ve seen werewolves, vampires or shape shifters in other shows and films so do you stick to the traditional rules of those worlds or are you going to make up your own?
AD: We're inheriting a lot of the rules from the Supernatural…I think what's been established from Supernatural is going to be kind of our governing force. In terms of, you know, what killed the monster and how the monster changes. Where we feel we have a lot of room for kind of building and a kind of experimenting are in the monster dynamics for the characters…so even if they are a monster you’ll know where they’re coming from.
TVF: Assuming this show does go forward, how sexy will the show be? On a scale of one to ten in terms of sexiness?
AD: I would rate is as a 94. What we want to avoid is certainly we have the romance plot but at the end of the day we don't want to make this purely a love story, you know what I mean? That's the fun of having an ensemble show and we have a really strong cast that goes like six deep. So that will be part of it, but we don't want to necessarily make it all of it. But that being said, with people that good looking it would be foolish of us not to have shirts taken off at some point and I’ll even do it if I have to but nobody wants to see that!
TVF: Assuming the show moves forward, do you hope that there will be regular crossovers? Whether you’re shooting in Chicago or if you go to Vancouver, where Supernatural shoots…
AD: I think where you'll see a crossover initially is with some of our supporting characters. There are characters like Castiel, Crowley, Garth, Jody Mills, people who are from the Supernatural world that I think could be passing through Chicago. And again, the fun of Bloodline is, unlike Supernatural, which has a character show up for an episode and be gone the next episode because the boys have moved on, we'll be bringing a character like a Jody or a like a Garth and have them around for three or four episodes and really kind of explore story lines with them.
In terms of Sam and Dean, we would love that and certainly internally we've talked about ways to do it but make it feel different and kind of cool. But at the end of the day, that's almost purely a scheduling thing because even if this show shoots in Vancouver, carving out a date to do it is to be very difficult but certainly something that we've talked about and I would love to do.
TVF: Do you see this as being kind of a case of the week kind of show with some mythology stuff peppered in or is it going to be pretty much all mythology/all the time? How do you see it?
AD: I think it's going to be a lot more heavily mythologized than Supernatural is, certainly more than Supernatural was in the beginning and every episode will have an event or a case or something Ennis is working or something David is working from his side but we're going to be focused a lot more on subplots that can carry over from week to week…so it's not going to be early Supernatural. It's going to be a lot more like later Supernatural, which is a more serialized show.
That being said, I'm a huge fan of stand-alone episodes like those really cool short stories that have a really great beginning, middle, and end...that's the great thing about Supernatural is you can tell any kind of story you want and this show, I hope, will evolve into that as well. Because some of those stand-alone episodes are some of the best episodes things that Supernatural has done…so we definitely want to explore this where we can but on a week to week basis we’ll have a bit mythology and be more serialized.
Supernatural Season 9 airs Tuesdays at 9/8 on The CW.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.