Things are changing up just a little bit this coming season on Supernatural. When the series returns this fall for its unprecedented 14th season, the episode count will be a touch shorter than what fans are normally used to. The CW has ordered only 20 episodes for the upcoming season as opposed to the usual 23 of seasons past. This marks the lowest episode count for Supernatural since season 3, which had an abbreviated 16-episode run due to the writer’s strike.
Led by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, Supernatural is the CW’s longest-running series and has remained a staple on their fall calendar since its premiere in 2005. Now, over a decade later, the show really doesn’t show any signs of stopping – just as long as the Winchester brothers are on board!
“I can answer the Supernatural question now. As long as the boys want to do it and ratings hold, Supernatural will stay on the air,” CW Network President, Mark Pedowitz said at the 2017 TCAs.
The show has an extremely dedicated fan base and still holds its own in the ratings, often performing well in live + 7-day numbers, so the 20-episode order could have more to do with the actors wanting to spend more time with their families rather than a red-flag from the network about a looming cancellation. Either way, 20 episodes is still plenty of time for Sam and Dean to get into and out of trouble!
While there isn’t an exact reason as to why the season received a limited episode order, fans may find the silver lining in the fact that a shorter season means less time will be spent on filler episodes and there will be more focus on the season’s main story lines. Supernatural returns to The CW on Thursday, Oct 11 at 8/7c.