News

Supernatural Cast & Producers Describe Reaching Extraordinary 300th Episode Milestone

Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and Mark Pellegrino reflect on the CW series' landmark episode with “humility and pride.”

by | February 6, 2019 | Comments

Supernatural -- "Lebanon" -- Image Number: SN1413A_0030b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW
(Photo by Dean Buscher/The CW)

Supernatural began as the story of two brothers in a Chevy Impala hunting urban myths, but soon grew to include a sprawling universe of angels, demons, alternate worlds, and Crowley (Mark Sheppard). The CW series hits a big milestone this week: the airing of its 300th episode, “Lebanon.” It is a rarity in television, considering the number of seasons a series needs to hit such a landmark. As star Jensen Ackles told Rotten Tomatoes when we visited the set recently, only 23 other scripted primetime television shows have reached the 300 mark, a milestone practically unheard of in the realm of genre television — except for a certain British show about a time traveler, of course.

We caught up with the cast and producers just before they began production on the episode. At the time, thoughts about the milestone left them a little bewildered. As star Jared Padalecki put it, “it’s a weird juxtaposition of feelings” landing between “humility and pride at the same time.”

According to Ackles, the milestone episodes “sneak up on you.” At the time of the 200th episode in 2014 — the musical episode “Fan Fiction” — he thought the show might be winding down, but it just kept getting picked up.

“The seasonal pickups then dictate the episodic counts. Then you start stepping back and we’re like, ‘Wait a minute, we’re going to hit 300 next season?’”


Supernatural -- "Lebanon" -- Image Number: SN1413D_BTS_0372bc.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Behind the scenes with Jensen Ackles as Dean, Jared Padalecki as Sam, Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as John Winchester -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW
(Photo by Dean Buscher/The CW)

Naturally, the occasion led to some reflection. Executive producer Robert Singer said he enjoys the emotional and character-forward episodes because the show is firing on all cylinders when it reaches “that combo of being kind of a good horror show, but having a lot of heart.”

Executive producer Eugenie Ross-Leming in particular loved the addition of Mark Pellegrino to the cast. Initially joining the series as a temporary vessel for the Prince of Darkness in season 5, Pellegrino returned through Supernatural means to play Nick, the human forced to contain Lucifer time and time again. After years in a recurring role, season 14 marked the actor’s first season as a regular.

Pellegrino, for his part, really enjoyed playing Lucifer across the years — though actors including Padalecki, Misha Collins, and Rick Springfield have also played the role.

“My favorite memories are when I first came onto the show and played apocalyptic Lucifer and sort of built the mythology of Lucifer,” he told Rotten Tomatoes. “It’s just sort of been a nice creative little journey going through the various character changes that Lucifer’s gone through over the years.”

When Lucifer (caged within Nick) was defeated last season, Pellegrino thought “dead was dead,” but then he remembered “it’s Supernatural,” and there is always a way back. When we talked to him, however, he was still uncertain how Nick survived the Archangel Blade.

“I have theories,” he teased.

One of producer Brad Buckner’s favorite moments was the decision to create the Men of Letters bunker in season 8.

“[It] was a fantastic thing because it gave them roots on a show that had been rootless for so long,” he explained.  “It really gave them a base of operation. Now it’s a hangout place where people congregate, and I think that increased the feeling of the family dynamic that I think is really the attraction of the show.”


(Photo by The CW)

While still focused on Sam and Dean, the series expanded to include key characters like Castiel (Collins) and a larger world (and then a second world) beyond the Winchesters; a tradition that continues with the arrival of Jack (Alex Calvert), the son of Lucifer and a genuine Nephil — a human-angel hyrbid.

“Alex is just a wonderful addition to the core cast, and he seems to fit in and blend so well,” Buckner said. “You don’t get lucky like that too often, and we’ve been lucky multiple times.”

As one of the most recent additions to the show, Calvert has enjoyed fan interactions most of all.

“Comic-con was very cool,” he said. “But another great memory that I had was last year we got to go see the ‘Scoobynatural’ presentation in Hollywood, which was so cool, because we got to watch it with 1,000 fans.” He appreciated the vibe, which he said felt like “we were doing a midnight screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

For Danneel Ackles, who recurred in season 13 as Sister Jo and the angel Anael, her favorite memory revolves around the moment she finally understood her husband’s least favorite part of the job: outdoor shoots in the dead of winter.

“He’ll call me and I’m chasing all these children around, and he’s like, ‘It’s freezing. You don’t understand, I’ve just been doing a scene outside for seven hours,’” she said. Her go-to response: “Don’t be a baby, you’re an actor. There’s a cheese plate coming.”

That changed after she did a scene with Pellegrino in extreme conditions.

“It was like 20 below zero and the wind’s blowing and we’re just — I’ve never been so cold in my life,” she said. “I had heat packets stuffed in places I can’t tell you about. I was like, ‘Oh, I get it, I get the show.’”


Supernatural -- "Nihilism" -- Image Number: SN1410A_0191r.jpg -- Pictured: Misha Collins as Castiel -- Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

One thing fans definitely get about the show is Castiel. The character has become a popular cosplay subject at comic conventions — even if his costume resembles a certain other trench coat enthusiast with ties to the mystical. But the confusion led to one of Collins’ favorite off-set memories.

“I often on Halloween see kids dressed as Castiel, because it’s now become a thing,” Collins said. “My family was eating at this pizza place and I saw this kid dressed as Castiel and I went up to his table. He was about 10. I put my face right in his face and I said, ‘What are you dressed as, young man?’ And he looked at me horrified and said, ‘Constantine.’ Then his dad said, ‘Get away from my son.’”

Supernatural‘s 300th episode airs Thursday, Feb. 7 at 8/7C on The CW.


Tag Cloud

disaster dragons YA Cannes dramedy Disney RT21 Dark Horse Comics Logo true crime crossover DC Comics VICE 2017 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina crime thriller The CW teaser natural history space ratings Comic Book crime witnail A&E Women's History Month 20th Century Fox Action Sundance TV mockumentary Marathons Spectrum Originals American Society of Cinematographers Kids & Family kids Superheroe Epix boxoffice Tumblr war TNT CBS All Access festivals DirecTV movies facebook Pop Writers Guild of America Acorn TV elevated horror miniseries Bravo sequel Biopics streaming Quiz thriller Paramount Network CW Seed Amazon Prime Mindy Kaling FOX E! OWN Reality Competition RT History YouTube Red based on movie E3 singing competition WarnerMedia LGBTQ BET Trailer X-Men Pirates Lucasfilm Pixar Christmas Fox News TLC Comics on TV Musical Tomatazos Teen sports jamie lee curtis TruTV Rock ghosts cats spy thriller Best and Worst SundanceTV FXX anthology police drama Sundance Now Crackle President Holidays biography Mary Tyler Moore theme song TIFF Opinion Fall TV adaptation IFC adventure docudrama what to watch comiccon Walt Disney Pictures Western Film Festival Spring TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ellie Kemper Binge Guide Horror AMC spinoff science fiction DGA Oscars Fantasy finale Video Games Grammys Shudder romance Set visit Brie Larson LGBT Sony Pictures ESPN History Drama Reality Song of Ice and Fire DC Universe Awards Nickelodeon historical drama justice league See It Skip It 45 binge medical drama cults Extras period drama PaleyFest Thanksgiving book revenge Black Mirror Interview Sneak Peek game show VH1 psycho Starz NYCC Netflix USA Star Wars award winner YouTube Premium casting Disney streaming service Music DC streaming service Britbox Valentine's Day Super Bowl nature animated GIFs Winter TV cars 2015 technology Comedy harry potter Infographic Year in Review BBC Elton John Disney Channel New York Comic Con Premiere Dates children's TV GLAAD Character Guide Cosplay supernatural ITV Certified Fresh Watching Series Nat Geo quibi Emmy Nominations The Witch The Arrangement San Diego Comic-Con Chernobyl anime Family Freeform unscripted politics Apple Syfy Amazon Prime Video zero dark thirty talk show Mary Poppins Returns richard e. Grant comic Ghostbusters Countdown Creative Arts Emmys cops Comedy Central Cartoon Network Paramount cooking Food Network psychological thriller composers Adult Swim zombie diversity strong female leads 24 frames Columbia Pictures Photos Animation Hulu GoT zombies Rocketman Film TBS toy story Warner Bros. 2018 Masterpiece CBS robots Marvel Showtime Tarantino MCU FX Martial Arts Election blaxploitation First Look vampires Lifetime crime drama Sci-Fi Box Office doctor who HBO SXSW CNN tv talk TCA ABC Family political drama Calendar Schedule transformers IFC Films SDCC cinemax spider-man Anna Paquin 2016 aliens Vudu Country Musicals Nominations Captain marvel discovery Spike Podcast green book Red Carpet Rom-Com Amazon Polls and Games BBC America dc Shondaland social media 2019 Trophy Talk USA Network 21st Century Fox travel Mary poppins Toys Star Trek Mystery NBC Heroines HBO Max MTV National Geographic mutant ABC Pet Sematary dceu MSNBC Esquire CMT series television Rocky Ovation Lionsgate TCA 2017 Winners hist APB Stephen King Superheroes PBS Universal Emmys Awards Tour El Rey golden globes serial killer Trivia Pride Month Summer Mudbound WGN TV Land TCM sitcom 007