A new Friday time slot isn’t the only major change facing Supernatural as it heads into its sixth season (beginning Sept. 24). Series creator Eric Kripke—whose five-season-long end-of-days-themed arc came to a close last May—is stepping down as day-to-day showrunner in favor of an advisory role. (Longtime EP Sera Gamble has been tapped to succeed him.) In the following Q&A, Kripke sets the record straight about the reason he relinquished his top-dog status, and previews [spoiler redacted].
Why did you decide to step down as showrunner?
ERIC KRIPKE: We were reaching the end of this five-year story line [so] I thought the timing was right. I knew that we were closing this chapter and opening a new one. It felt like it was the right time to take a step back and focus on new projects, but still keep my grubby little mitts in the show. It was a lot about Sera and her enthusiasm and her ambition. I really think after five years of all of my crap, to have someone who has a fresh perspective and a fresh energy on these characters and this universe is healthy for the show. Supernatural has always been a show about reinvention. We try really hard not to do the same thing. I thought that Sera’s [increased] involvement really helped guarantee that this season is going to feel a little different, a little fresher. She has a different sensibility.
What exactly will your role be?
KRIPKE: I see my job as being a safety net and just making sure that the show falls in the broadest possible parameters…. Sera and Bob [Singer] are pitching episode ideas to me. I’m in the room so far for every episode break. I pitch a couple of episode ideas, pitch a couple issues of how to fix some problems and some breaks. I’m giving some script notes. I’m still in it; I think, frankly, Sera and Bob wish I backed the hell up. [Laughs]
Will you be writing any episodes?
KRIPKE: I think I will certainly be writing an episode this year. I am also slated to direct an episode in February.
What do you say to those fans who felt the show should have ended with season 5?
KRIPKE: My answer to that is time will tell. I have high hopes for this season. I remember the same kind of concerns when we bumped off Yellow Eyes in season 2. We killed their Big Bad and where were we going to go now? We always found a different place to go. People forget that I didn’t [originally] want angels in the show. Then we introduced the angels and then it spun the story line in a way that was really rich for us. This is a show that ends story lines and starts new ones and reinvents itself. I think because it is hardwired into the DNA of the show, it will weather a lot of transition and growth. The question is not should it have ended, the question is, Is the new story line compelling and interesting and is it an arena of this universe that we haven’t explored yet and is it putting Sam and Dean into new situations that we haven’t seen before? I think it does all of the above.