'Supernatural' exclusive: Eric Kripke stepping down as showrunner

Aw, hell. I had a bad feeling Supernatural‘s early season 6 renewal came with an asterisk.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that creator Eric Kripke will be stepping down as the CW drama’s day-to-day showrunner next season. Executive producer Sera Gamble, who has been with the show since season 1 and is awesome, is poised to succeed him.

But, and this is a big but, Kripke will remain actively involved in the show — and not just in name only. Although CW and Warner Bros. reps declined to comment, a Supernatural insider assures me that Kripke and his current co-showrunner, Robert Singer, will continue to function as hands-on executive producers.

“Eric and Bob will be working very closely with Sera,” says the source. “They are not abandoning the show.”

Kripke has long said that he envisioned Supernatural as a five-season show. But in an interview last August, he clarified that stance. “I’m looking at this season as the [last] chapter in this particular story,” he told me. “That doesn’t mean there can’t be a new story. Buffy did it. The X-Files did it. You close a chapter on a big mythology storyline and then you begin a new one.” Asked whether he would be involved in a possible sixth season, Kripke hedged, “I don’t know. I’m going to cross that bridge when I get to it.”

Kripke is said to be finalizing a new deal with Warner Bros. that will feature a big development component. In other words, his diminished role on Supernatural will free him up to create another awesome show.

It’s all about the silver lining, kids! C’mon, work with me here!

Okay, fine. I’m sure all you’re seeing is the dark cloud that is Kripke’s big (euphemism alert!) career transition, so use the comments section to work through your anger issues.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Muller/ The CW

Comments (286 total) Add your comment
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  • lost4life

    as long as he is still involved I am fine with this, most of the time showrunners get elss involevd with shows the longer they last

    • Iggy

      This is my exact thought.

    • Caitlin

      My thoughts exactly. And even then, I’m sticking with this show until the end.

      • Shannon

        As long as he is still closely involved to make sure the new runners don’t do a hack job like with Buffy when they kept Dawn way past her end date for story arc.

      • PHD


      • jen

        hmmmmmmm as a lifelong obsessed Buffy fan I have this to say, Buffy should of ended with season 5. season 6 was crappy and season 7 was preachy!!!

      • matt

        I agree with Jen on all but one point. Season 5 should have ended it, season 6 shouldn’t have aired (although there were some awesome episodes), but season 7 was my favorite.. it was epic.

    • Melody

      I’m with you, as long as his voice is still heard, I’ll be happy.

    • Mariah

      Agreed. I highly doubt we’re going to see much of a difference at all.

    • harry

      here here!!!

  • Brooke

    i cant wait to see with what new show he comes up with next! but he will be missed on supernatural

  • rkx

    I’ll wait and see before i give up on this show… it’s the next best thing after #Smallville! #S10forSV !!!

    • paige

      Agreed! Go SMALLVILLE!!!!!!!!

    • Sheira66

      So glad to see not EVERYONE is going to assume the worst…I say if you don’t like it don’t watch it…but I, for one, and going to believe that all is well until proven otherwise…and lets face it…I’d watch J2 read the phone book for an hour each week so how bad can it get ;)

      • sugrhgh

        Ditto Sheira. Bring on the phonebook!!!

    • gonzalo zepeda

      you can’t be serious? smallvillle is by far one of the worst shows ive seen in a long time. its got a pittiful story line and every episode ends with no major change what so ever. i mean think about it. how many times has a character died and then some how before the episode even ended, come back… almost every episode of that show is crap. i seen a couple of good ones but like i said. it just brings the show back to where it was at the beginning of the episode.(witch by the way is no ware. i have never seen an actual story line between each episode.) oh and whatever happened to that show reaper? i mean, it wasn’t as good as supernatural but it was certainly better than smallville.

      • blahblahblah

        that is the truest thing i have ever heard. Smallville was only okay in the beginning, but now it sucks. you just spoke my mind. lol

  • andrew

    Sera Gamble rules now we need Smallville news Ausiello WTF!

  • Michelle

    Aw, hell. I like Sera, but I’d feel better about season 6 with Kripke at the helm. Thankfully, he’s not walking away completely. THAT would be a disaster. Fingers crossed for more Supernatural goodness!

    • Shannon

      I had the same thoughts. Also they better keep our two favorite boys around too… All the ones who have been there since the beginning have made what Supernatural is today=)

      • Michelle

        Agreed. There is no Supernatural without Jared and Jensen. If they leave, I’m done.

      • JBD

        Does no one else think that this is setting up a spin off? Like Buffy went to Angel? I think there’s a 50% chance that Jared and Jensen won’t return. And if that’s the case, then my predictions about the spin off are right.

      • catbean

        Actually, both Jensen & Jarad are contracted through season six. They have no choice but to stay on the show through next season. So no worries on that front.

      • Skylar

        Given that Jared and Jensen have a 6 year contract, they aren’t going anywhere for at least that long.
        As for the show changing, it would whether Kripke was still running it or not. They’re closing a MAJOR story arc at the end of this season. I don’t see it changing for the worse, though.
        Sera Gamble may have the final say, but working with Kripke so closely for so long will always be an influence on where she takes the next season.
        I say just be thankful we get another season. It’s already pretty much been said Jared and Jensen probably won’t do another once their cotracts are up, so this season is very possibly the last. Enjoy it.

      • Elin

        Im so agree. If Jensen and Jared wont be on Supernatural, Im done. So please keep our fave winchester boys on Supernatural. Jensen, Jared, Eric Kripke, Eric Kripke’s Team and Supernatural 4 life<3 Please let Jensen and Jared still be in the show. <3

  • chickie1105

    Yeah same here. I have complete faith in Sera Gamble and her ability to run this show. Plus if Kripke is still remaining actively involved in the show…I don’t see this being as big a deal as you might think.

  • Deeds

    So, next season will be all about how much sex the Winchesters have then, eh?

    • shell

      i hope so!!!

    • timotey

      Actually, some of the gorriest, “let’s kill another recurring character” episodes were written by Sera Gamble.

      • Zoey

        Really? Oh boy. That makes for a pleasant sounding season 6….

      • Heather

        That’s true, if you watch some of the extras on the DVD’s she’s come up with some of my favorite episodes. I freaked when I read the title of the article but when it said Sera would be taking over, I breathed. Kripke though, that man is a master at “what the hell?!” moments.

  • 37ftin

    Grrrr. I was waiting for this. I’m more than willing to stick with this show for a 6th, 7th, 10th season as long as it works. I don’t know where you go after a story THIS big, but I’m along for the ride.

  • Liz

    If Kripke isn’t going to be the showrunner, I’d rather there be co-showrunners of Sera Gamble and Ben Edlund, not just Sera.

    • castiella

      Good call. Sara and Ben would balance each other out well.

      I like Sara, but I’m tres bummed about Kripke leaving. I’ll watch, of course, but I’m nervous!

      • Logan

        I totally agree. I love emo!crying Dean and all the brotherangst, but I think Ben’s twisted sense of humor is a great balance to Sera’s writing.

  • nathan

    Should of ended it this season and gone out on a high note with some closure to the series. DON’T DRAG THIS OUT FOREVER AND END BADLY!!! (ie. X-Files)

    • tvgirl48

      I agree. As much as I LOVE Supernatural, it should really end before it starts going downhill and overstaying its welcome like countless other successful shows. They’ve been lucky to sustain the quality this long, but I don’t want to see the show drag on past its time and become an insult to its past.

      • Dominos

        i agree so much! i was hoping the series would end with a bang this season. oh well… i just hope they don’t drag it out and end badly. (as the two preceding comments have said)
        btw, isn’t the announcent of a 6th season a huge hint/spoiler as to how season 5 is gonna end? i mean, i HIGHLY doubt that season 6 is gonna have a brother missing, or both….

      • tvgirl48

        Well, I never thought they would kill Sam and they did. And I never thought Dean would go to hell and he did. (It’s not called jumping the shark if you never come back down, right?)

      • Bindhu

        Yeah, im ambivalent on this one. I totally love the show & tink they’ve done amazing things with it. However, I think the rumored Samuel Colt spin-off would have been better than another series of Sam & Dean. Can’t those guys have a god-damned hard earned rest?!
        Still, hopefully S6 will be as kick-ass as the rest & give the characters some closure. It’s gonna be interesting to see how this season wraps up. Even if Kripke’s 5 year plan wraps up, they could easily end on a cliffhanger this season…!!

    • @Nathan

      It’s should have, not should of.

    • Zoey

      I always thought the same thing. Though I love the show tremendously, I’d like to see it go out on a high note. As it is, I suppose I’m okay with a season 6, as long as it is ABSOLUTELY the last season. I don’t know where they will go after this, but I have high hopes. As long as Kripke doesn’t completely walk away, then it’s fine. But I swear, if the CW keeps dragging out the show after Season 6 and murders what awesomeness SN has been, Dawn Ostroff will have to take a dirt nap.

    • Marcus

      I completely agree. I am really disappointed that the show isn’t ending after this season… so many shows have done the mistake of stretching it out too far and not knowing when to end it… Don’t get me wrong, I love Supernatural it’s a kickass show and I’m not gonna stop watching, no way… but it would have been perfect to end it on an high note with Season 5.

  • Corinne

    Well… I’m really not sure what to say.

  • Beth

    Actually, I’m happy to see this. More power to Sera!

  • keanna montanna

    this is scary

    • @keanna montanna

      Scary? Really? Over dramatic perhaps?

      • JBD

        She’s not being over dramatic when so many shows have tanked after their exec leaves. This could very well ruin Supernatural, and so it is scary in some ways. We just have to hope the writing and plot is still really great for season 6.

  • Annielicious14

    I love Sera, I’m sure she’ll do an awesome job. Kripke Is King can do no wrong so I’m waiting with baited breath to see what he’s coming with next!

    • @Annielicious14

      It’s bated breath, not baited. What, your mouth is full of chum?

      • seriously

        yeah you’re full of something.

      • suzyq

        Bated or baited? Geoffrey Taylor, in his poem Cruel, Clever Cat, 1933, used the confusion over the word to good comic effect:

        Sally, having swallowed cheese
        Directs down holes the scented breeze
        Enticing thus with baited breath
        Nice mice to an untimely death.

        Relax grammarian. There’s a time and place, and this is not it!

    • you’re an idiot

      really? you felt the need to protect Annie’s grammar on an ew comment board? do you feel superior now? get a life.

  • Dee

    Man, The X-Files and Buffy are terrible examples to use since both had HUGE fifth season ends and were incredibly weak after that. :( I have a bad feeling about SPN now.

    • Desmo

      Seriously! Buffy and X-Files did it and were really lame shows afterwords.

      • Natalie

        Even people who didn’t like the last two seasons of Buffy have to admit that they had some of the most amazing episodes. Even if Supernatural doesn’t turn out to be as good as it was, there still should be some good stuff on the horizon.

      • Jayme

        Yeah, but Buffy had individual season arcs – always – not a five year arc with a bit on the side.

    • Brooke

      Meh, Buffy season 6 and 7 were both better than the atrocity that was Glory and all her plot holes.

    • litsa

      we all know we watch Supernatural for Jared and Jensen so no matter what it will still rock if they or one leaves the show…i’m done!

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