Note: Special thanks to Supernatural fan Cassandra for contributing to this report.
Many fans of the popular CW series Supernatural can breathe a sigh of relief: the backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off series called Supernatural: Bloodlines did not get the green light for a series pick-up.
The intended back-door pilot in the Supernatural Season 9 episode “Bloodlines” involved Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) arriving in Chicago to investigate a death in Chicago. They discover the existence of various mafia-esque monster families are running the underbelly of Chicago. One family consists of shape-shifters run by Margo Lassiter (Danielle Savre), whose leadership is thrown into question when her brother David (Nathaniel Buzolic) returns home. The other reigning family in town is made up of werewolves and led by Julian Duval (Sean Faris). Sam and Dean eventually a man named Ennis (Lucien Laviscount), who has a personal vendetta against both families. The Winchesters warn Ennis about heading into the hunter lifestyle, but Ennis refuses to listen.
The series was to be developed by Supernatural writer Andrew Dabb. The director of the episode, Robert Singer, described the show as “an entirely different cast of characters And unlike Supernatural – which is a road show — this will take place in one place (Chicago) with a wider cast of characters. (It will) explore the clashing monster and human characters living in the city…We’ll have main characters who are both human and monsters. That will include, families of monsters and families of hunters. It’s much more of an ensemble than Supernatural.”
The episode saw a rise in the show’s ratings, but fan reactions were overwhelmingly negative. One of the biggest criticisms was the reduced role of Sam and Dean in favor of the Bloodlines cast and that the tone of the episode was a vast departure from what fans were familiar with, complete with a recycled plot and terrible acting. Some fans also felt like they were watching another CW’s series such as The Vampire Diaries and The Originals instead of Supernatural, showing yet another example of how un-creative the network’s new programming has become in recent years.
Are you happy that Supernatural: Bloodlines was not picked up? Or did you think the series had potential despite a sub-par backdoor pilot? Sound off with your thoughts.
Categories: Television, Television News
I would just say in any backdoor pilot the main cast from the show would be taking a backseat. Look at all the CSI and NCIS backdoor pilots – the main cast will have a decreased role, in that episode. But yeah, the plot sucked.
There was an article I read about this and they basically pointed that if you’re going to do a spin-off, at least have established characters that the audience is familiar with for audience appeal (for example Angel in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and Frasier Crane in “Cheers”). The article argues that where “Supernatural” went wrong was focusing on characters that nobody is familiar with and that didn’t sit well with fans (my source confirmed this as she interacts with other fans). If you are going to have a backdoor pilot, don’t completely dismiss the main characters. Stargate SG-1 had something of a backdoor pilot for Stargate Atlantis, and that worked because you had established characters moving onto the new show and a new character that the audience had at least 4 episodes to get used to.