News Briefs: The CW Orders Pilots for Rob Thomas's iZombie, a Supernatural Spin-off, and More


MORE LIKE THE CWTF 

... The CW has ordered three pilots, including one called iZombie from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and his frequent collaborator Diane Rugierro. The project is based on the DC Comics series of the same name and follows a med student who becomes a zombie and takes a job at the coroner's office in order to be in close proximity to her new food source. 

The network also handed a pilot order to Jane the Virgin, which sounds so awful I don't even want to talk about it, but I will. The potential series is adapted from what I'm told is a successful Venezuelan telenovela called Juana La Virgen. It's about a young girl who is accidentally artificially inseminated. And it sounds terrible. Not just the pilot, but the entire thing in general. Yikes. Also, you can watch the first episode of the original series right now, if you want to. But if you dislike it, blame Tim, because he's the one who sought it out.

Lastly, The CW has also ordered a pilot called Identity, and it's so ridiculous that I have to let the official logline tell you what it's about: "When a young woman in need of a transplant learns she is related to a powerful family whose son is her only hope for a donor organ, the CIA approaches her to investigate the family’s involvement in domestic terrorism and to infiltrate their rarefied world. Her loyalty, morality, and ethics are tested as she’s forced to slowly build a case against the family who saved her life.” 

All of this is fine and good, but we still don't know the status of Unfamous, the pilot script from Lauren Graham. [EW and TV Line]

... Also coming from The CW today is the news that the network is officially doing a standalone Flash pilot instead of a backdoor pilot to air as part of Arrow (duh?), as well as the implication that the network is attempting to kill the entire Supernatural fandom by destroying the show's legacy. The potential Supernatural spin-off that's been in the works but out of the news for a while now was apparently ordered to pilot today; it's about clashing monsters and hunters in Chicago and will be called SupernaturalTribes. Do not want. And let's be real for a second: The reason Supernatural has lasted so long is that it has Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. The spin-off, which will feature an entirely new cast, is going to fail. Sorry to break it to ya, C-Dubbs. [TV Line and THR]


BUSINESS TIME

... While we're on the topic of The CW and Supernatural, let's chat about how the Brothers Winchester pulled in some pretty awesome ratings—for The CW, anyway—opposite last night's State of the Union Address. Most networks take a break from their regular programming to broadcast the POTUS's annual speech, but not The CW, which was probably a smart move on the network's part, as its audience doesn't seem very politically inclined. Supernatural pulled in 2.8 million viewers and earned a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49. That's the series' largest overall viewership tally since October 2010. Sorry, Obama, you've got nothing on Jensen Ackles with a beard. [Variety]

... The artist formerly known as Marky Mark will be hosting Nickelodeon's 27th Annual Kids' Choice Awards. The telecast will air Saturday, March 29 at 8pm. [Nickelodeon via press release]

... ABC has ordered a pilot for The Winklers, a multi-camera comedy about a construction worker who learns the ins and outs of life while living with his in-laws. The project is from Max Winkler, son of Henry "The Fonz" Winkler; Max  Winkler may still star in the comedy, but hasn't closed a deal yet. Rob Reinis and Jack Johnson are on-board as executive producers. [Variety]

... CBS has ordered a pilot (OMG MORE PILOTS) for More Time With the Family, a multi-camera comedy starring comedian Tom Papa (the guy who used to host The Marriage Ref). It's being produced by a couple dudes named Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, but I never heard of them. The project follows a man (Papa) who changes his career path in order to spend More Time With the Family. [Deadline]

... Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares returns for Season 6 on Friday, February 28 at 8pm. I'd say more, but that man scares me. [Fox via press release]



CASTING NEWS

... John Noble (Henry/Jeremy/Second Horseman!) and Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny!) have both been promoted to series regulars for the second season of Sleepy Hollow. This is good news because it means A) Jenny survived the car crash in the finale (or at the very least will continue to be part of the show in some capacity), and B) more John Noble! Sleepy Hollow burned us pretty badly when Henry's true nature was revealed, but it hurt so good, you know? The only downside to this news is now it really sucks that we have to wait so long in between seasons. [Deadline

... Ron Perlman is starring in a new TV pilot, y'all (and apparently his hiring was so secret that no one could know about it when he first booked the role because it would have ruined his then-upcoming death on Sons of Anarchy). He'll play the lead in Amazon's Hand of God, a new hour-long drama from Ben Watkins (Burn Notice). Perlman's character is a "hard-living, law-bending married man" with some questionable morals... until he experiences a religious awakening and starts believing that God is talking to him through his son, who's on a ventilator. Ummmmkay. But where does he stand on gun-running and murdering his best friends and hiring people to fake-kidnap his stepson's baby mama? [TV Line]

... Goran Visnjic (ER) will star opposite Halle Berry in CBS's new sci-fi series Extant. He'll play John Watts, the husband of Berry's character. The series follows an astronaut (Berry) who returns home from a solo mission in space and tries to reconnect with her family, which is comprised of her husband and her android son. Oh yeah, aaaaaand she's somehow pregnant.  [EW]

... Jeremy Davies, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Dickie Bennett's Hair in Justified, and Chris Diamantopoulos (Arrested Development) have both signed on to guest-star in the second season of NBC's delicious drama Hannibal. Davies will play Peter Bernardone, an animal rescue worker who's being investigated after a murder occurs at a stable where he used to work. Diamantopoulos will play Clark Ingram, Peter's longtime social worker. [TV Guide]

... Tea Leoni has been cast as the lead in CBS's just-ordered-from-Morgan Freeman pilot Madam Secretary, which follows the life of a female Secretary of State who's trying to balance her professional and private lives. [TV Line]


Comments (94)
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Identity's plot is total nonsense. But let's wait and find out if the show is. I hope not.
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iZombie sounds like a silly premise, but something I would at least watch the first episode of.

Jane the Virgin I hope will never make it to TV. "accidentally artificially inseminated" OMG! Stupid...

Identity sounds like boring drama + I can't imagine a terrorism plot on CW.

I don't get the negativity towards Supernatural: Tribes... It sounds fun enough and it's got a new cast so it won't be the same.

The two sitcoms sound boring, but as usual with all sitcoms - one rarely knows if they're any good/funny until one sees it.

Hand of God sounds like it could go both ways, but most likely not good.

Madam Secretary sounds boooooooooooring.
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Guess I should go back and watch season one of Sleepy Hollow, as I absolutely LOVE John Noble, and if I can't have more Fringe, this'll have to do! :)
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Some of this shit coming from the CW...c'mon guys... really? These pilots sound rather idiotic... And you guys think these will do better then The Secret Circle?? Yeah, I'm still pissed about that... If given a second season and if they had polished up the writing a lil bit, I think TSC could have become one of the greats of the CW... instead they killed it right before it brought in the best numbers it had had since premiering...
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The Supernatural spinoff would only work if it was going to include past characters. New Characters, I don't see it happening.
Does anyone know how many episodes Sleep Hollow will have next season?
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Sleepy Hollow will have 13 episodes again (though there's talk it could fluctuate a bit, but I really don't see that happening).
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I am in kill joy mode here. John Noble - Sleepy Hollow great! Flash - yes please! But tie up with Arrow would excellent. Absolutely everything else looks like rubbish. Particularly Supernatural spin off, the virgin birth thing. Supernatural is a one off. Imagine a reboot of say Buffy. It simply would fail. It is all about great character chemistry! And actors who get their roles.
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When are we going to learn which shows will continue?
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Jensen Ackles with a beard and John Noble. Two shows that I don't watch, have no interest in watching, but am almost doing because of Jensen Ackles with a beard and John 'freakin' awesome' Noble.
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The Supernatural spin off should be Charlie and Dorothy battling things in OZ or wherever. And somehow include Abaddon. That would be a great series. Adding the word Tribes at the end of something is usually a cue for it being a shadow of whatever it was initially based upon.
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Girls girls girls... Supernatural is not a hit because of Your Eye candy. At its core it is two brothers Hacking and slashing everything they run into while driving a very nice old car. The eye candy is just a by-product.
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You're right, it's not because they're pretty. It's because of the relationship the two actors have and the relationship that Sam and Dean have. What I'm saying is: Supernatural is successful because of the the stories it's told through this fractured, but very deep relationship between the two men. The Supernatural world itself, and the other hunters in it, are not what drives the show and what makes it interesting. That's why I worry about how successful any spin-off that doesn't involve Sam and Dean (or any of the other characters we've come to know and love) can be.
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totally agree thekaitling, no matter how many pretty people they throw at a show (see every other show on CW) the acting and writing talent behind those faces is what carries a show.
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Okay this may be true but you have to admit the eye helped them out A LOTTTT in the beggining when we were not so sure
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"And let's be real for a second: The reason Supernatural has lasted so long is that it has Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. The spin-off, which will feature an entirely new cast, is going to fail. Sorry to break it to ya, C-Dubbs."

True. Sometimes (meaning "often") one wonders what goes on in the minds of TV producers. Why would they think that a spin-off would work? Are they actually wasting a shit load of time and money on an idea which so evidently will crash and burn? Mystifying.

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iZombie sounds right up my alley--really looking forward to it. Don't watch Supernatural for good for them. I think the spin-off will do great. I'm not interested in watching a terrorism thriller from the CW, but then again....I'm so curious as to what that will look likely. Jane the Virgin is definitely features the most ridiculous logline ever attached to a pilot.
We talk about these CW pilot orders, Community, HIMYM, The Blacklist and more in this week's podcast: http://www.untemperedtv.com/?p=291
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iZombie is a great idea. A Supernatural spinoff is not, but I see CW thinking of replicating the success of VD/The Originals and SPN has maybe one more year in the tank before they need another strong anchor.
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Also, so many pilots because so much SUCKED this year and the networks have to go back to square one.
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CW please kill of that god-awful Supernatural spinoff concept, seriously monster hunting in Chicago. Some people there are monsters, let's kill them first please. Otherwise iZombie and Flash sound good. We need more DC on television. Marvel dominates movies, Let DC rule television. Not interested in anything else at all. C'mon CW you can do better.
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iZombie sounds iAwful too.
Supernatural for ever!
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Those CW pilots don't look promising at all. They seem to be doing well with genre shows, why not just stick with what works? The Supernatural spinoff should be called Hunters, in my expert opinion of course ;p Supernatural: Tribes sounds like some supernatural anthropology show.
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Or a really bad reality show.
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What a ridiculous title for the Supernatural spin off.
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It annoys me that lately half of the Tv.com staff seem to immediately crap on an idea when they know very little about it. Give things a chance! What reason have you got to immediately think a Supernatural spin off will be bad? You say Sam and Dean are the reason Supernatural works but they could still do that with the spin off characters.

I'm not saying its definitely gonna be good but at least give it some hope
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I'm personally unimpressed because, based on the description, the show seems to be unnecessarily designated as a spin-off. What is should be billed as is a different supernatural action/drama from some of the creators from Supernatural.

As for its quality, it's nearly impossible to judge a show based on its premise. Supernatural would have failed on that count as well, along with other fine genre shows like Being Human, Teen Wolf, and Grimm. I rely far more on showrunner histories—mixed for both Singer and Kripke—and network track records—more bad than good for the CW. Unlike fellow CW pilot order iZombie, which is based on an established (if completed) comic series by an excellent creative team, the spin-off doesn't have built-in characters or stories you can rely on. It could, and a spin-off should (remember Angel), but this one doesn't look like it does. It's basically a new show, and as such carries none of the good will I'd grant Supernatural.
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Hey, I'll be the first to admit it's good if it's good. But from the sound of everything right now, this series is going to have a hard uphill battle, especially without familiar faces.
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You are more positive on things once they are out Ill give you that haha
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I'll admit the name is terrible
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yes but you all are quick to crap on anything new. Tim is getting to the point I don't want to click on anything he writes.
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There was a similar show where I live (maybe a copy of the same?) and I want to know HOW DO YOU GET ARTIFICIALLY INSEMINATED BY ACCIDENT? It's just stupid.
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You go to the hospital for some kind of procedure, and the hospital staff gets you confused with someone else.
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Just to make it clear: I wasn't actually planning on getting this done but thanks:) It must take quite incompetent staff though.
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As much as I loooove Halle Berry, Extant sounds terrible. Oh my god, what are they thinking? Gravity was eye-spectacular at best. And I don't know people that wanted to see Bullock's character enjoy life on Earth when she got back. Space isn't the new thing.

Glad Visnjic is getting a part though. Red window didn't allow him to shine again.
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iZombie sounds worse than the ideas you're trashing.
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The Supernatural spin-off CANNOT possibly be worse than the new Beauty and the Beast; even with the ridiculous title.

It's good to know that Jenny will be back next season for Sleepy Hollow.
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I don't watch Sleepy Hollow but i am happy for John Noble.
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You forget the new Amazon's pilot "Hysteria" created by Shaun Cassidy.
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Until now, the worst idea I'd heard out of the CW was Beauty and the Beast; now that show looks like renaissance art in comparison.
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Veronica Mars was cool, I'm a huge fan of the original Cupid series back in the day, I like zombies & all, but Rob Thomas or not, iTend to be unwilling to give anything a shot that uses an apple product meme for its title. It's like nails on a chalkboard in my brain...plus, the concept just sounds stupid
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Is it wierd that I have never seen a Veronica Mars...in fact I have no idea what it was about
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I heard good things about the comic.
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This show pic is so damn c r e e p y. And do you see what they did with the "g" in "Virgen"?!?: http://www.network54.com/Realm/FTTE/telenovela.JPG
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No, I don't. I don't see anything at all.
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fun fact john noble was my drama teacher. he is AWESOME
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Mark Wahlberg hosting a kids' choice award show? That's just.... bizarre. When's the last time he did any movie or show aimed at that demographic?

Gotta laugh at the CW pilots, especially Identity. Like, what the fuck?

I'm for one excited about the SPN spinoff. As a straight male, I watch the show for the story, performances and the beasties, so hopefully Tribes (eww awful name) will come correct wit' da funk, yo.

As for hand of god... I mean, I really like Perlman (I'm a geek, how could I not?), but I'm also an atheist, so I can't really take that show seriously. Unless it's a deliberate character study of a man suffering from the beginning stages of dementia. In which case, it's basically a TV version of Take Shelter. Only with god instead of weather.
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I've had mixed hopes for the SPN spinoff and while I doubt it'll be as successful as SPN itself I believe given the right characters and settings along with the right crew it could work quite well and I'm going to reserve judgment until I see the show or at least the back door pilot in Episode 20 later in the year. Just because it has SUPERNATURAL in the title doesn't automatically mean it'll be relying too heavily on the preexisting stuff to sustain itself.

Some of the comments below seem to suggest people don't want to see other non-Winchester hunters doing the job but that's just silly because as good as Sam and Dean are they don't do EVERYTHING all the time, there are other hunters out there and they could form quite a good foundation for their own stories.

As for the rest of the junk mentioned in the article were the people who approved those things drunk or smoking crack at the time they ticked the YES box?
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Get ready to hate me. I feel the same way about a Breaking Bad spin-off as you feel about a Supernatural spin-off. The master piece ran its course, let it and its legacy be and move on.
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As a general rule, I'm very wary of spin-offs. I think I'm more open to the Breaking Bad spin-off because it's spinning off actual characters we already know and love. That being said, I'd also have been perfectly content to let Breaking Bad exist on its own forever. If Better Call Saul fails, it risks ruining the reputation of Breaking Bad.
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Woohoo for Jeremy Davies, Ron Perlman, Lyndie Greenwood, and John Noble! As for the Supernatural spinoff? Well, if it plays out like Angel did to Buffy, we're all in for a treat. But I still think the title alone sounds sorta crappy. Give it it's own title and let the fans follow through from there. Don't tie the name so closely with the core series it spun out from. Then again, The Finder? The Lone Gunmen? Vs Stargate: Atlantis? Star Trek: DS9? Maybe disregard everything I just said....
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The difference is that Angel was already an established character in the Buffy universe.
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I'd like to think even if he wasn't, Angel would have quickly stood on its own merits, especially having such a similar vibe and connections to Buffy anyways, but who can say really?
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"The reason Supernatural has lasted so long is that it has Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. The spin-off, which will feature an entirely new cast, is going to fail."
I'd add Misha Collins to that sentence, but it doesn't make it any less true.

And I have to say, the CW, you outdid yourself in terms of crappy plot lines. Seriously.
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I do love me some Misha Collins. If that Supernatural spin-off was Castiel-centric, I'd probably be way more pumped about it.
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I watch a Castiel vs Crowly that would be fun
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"When a young woman in need of a transplant learns she is related to a powerful family whose son is her only hope for a donor organ, the CIA approaches her to investigate the family’s involvement in domestic terrorism and to infiltrate their rarefied world. Her loyalty, morality, and ethics are tested as she’s forced to slowly build a case against the family who saved her life.”
seriously the worst plot line ever and got me asleep after the first half, seriously what????
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John Noble is Fringe to me. He is good, but to early for series regular. But hey, thats me!!
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Juana La Virgen. Bad Tim. Bad. Bad-bad-bad
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What kind of title is Supernatural: Tribes?! At least with The Originals, their title sounded, well original since it didn't depend on its mother series for a title. Slapping on Supernatural as part of its title feels as if the spin-off isn't standing on its own legs and relying on SPN for its success. The fact that it'll center around a bunc of new people isn't helping much. I'd rather see Bobby/Rufus' early hunting days or stories about Jo & Ellen during their Harvelles' Roadhouse days than watch a bunch of randoms pretending that they know what they're doing.
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Am I the only one who likes Identity? For one, I want the CW to diversify and at least try a political thriller show so that they can distance themselves from the teeny bopper shows. And please let Tribes be as successful as Supernatural so that the author can eat her own words.
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It sounds like it could be anything between terrible and great. It certainly doesn't sound like something you can dismiss based on the premise alone.
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I don't get the reason why the author would want to talk down on something that has not even aired yet. It's just like one of those people in the comments section that trashtalk shows even if they have not aired yet except the writer had the privilege to put it up her own article. power player much?
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So we've all decided the Supernatural spin-off will fail despite not seeing anything other than a description? I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt first!
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I'd like to see it succeed, but I worry that without characters from the series that we know and love to anchor it (which is what has been said about it), I don't know that it'll be able to find roots. And the name is just plain terrible. I don't think it needed to have the Supernatural name in it necessarily.
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Yeah, the name isn't great. Sounds like a Survivor series :/
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Supernatural conflict in Chicago? Can't we just have a new (better) version of The Dresden Files?
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Although obviously it didn't follow the books that closely, on its own terms the show is actually pretty good. I had the chance to rewatch the series last fall (and clean up the guide), and it's pretty good. Like most of SyFy's shows, it's reasonably "young teenage stud" free.
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And despite decent ratings at the time, which I think were higher than most of their show are getting today, they canceled it.
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I would have liked for the Supernatural spinoff to at least star a couple of the recurring characters like DJ Qualls (Garth) and Osric Chau (Kevin Tran). Unfortunately, with the latter dead and the former now a werewolf, that's unlikely to happen. It probably won't be as big a draw if it only features a new cast.
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Bad news: The CW severely misdiagnoses why Supernatural works. (And to be fair, it works less often now than it did in its stellar first five seasons.) In fact, Supernatural probably shouldn't work, but it manages to distance itself in quality and tone from most supernatural (used-to-be-teen) dramas. Don't screw it up, please!

Good news: iZOMBIE was actually an excellent comic series by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred out of Vertigo, and, if properly cast, could be a really solid addition to the CW's schedule, especially if they follow the current trend of short seasons. It'd also give them a show with a healthy sense of humor.
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That's good to hear about iZombie. I'm actually really looking forward to that one.
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The reason it works in part is because it's not a teen show. The Winchesters may be relatively young (at least when they started, nine years ago), but it was never about high school/college and romance and jealous rivalries.
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Yes, and no. It has certainly moved into something more adult, even if the characters are currently trapped in some kind of holding pattern that I really think needs to be broken before the end of this season. And it never belonged on a college campus, but the potential for the college context overshadowed most of the first few seasons. Dean was in essence competing with college for Sam's life trajectory. It's never been a show about romance, thankfully, but I do think the show would benefit from more women.

I also think that part of its success is the rural/road context. I can recall no other network show (much less on the CW) that convincingly depicts a wider swath of American geography, even if it is filmed in Canada. Cain in Missouri, angels in Pennsylvania, werewolves in Wisconsin, only to name a few from the last several episodes. A spin-off entirely based in Chicago would miss that element.
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I was referring to the actual setting of such shows, that have the characters as students on a high school or a college campus.

Rathe than the somewhat nebulous theme of Sam going back to college, which seemed less like college per se than Sam just trying to escape the "family business" any way he could.
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It strikes me that Arrow is the same way. And why I don't watch Tomorrow People.
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I wholeheartedly agree with you. Plus the fact that it's an adult supernatural drama means that it's more mature and dark. Besides, I already have TVD and TW that fills out my teen supernatural drama criteria, I don't need another version of them.
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A Supernatural spinoff? I have shivers just to imgine. Naturally it'll be full of teens, methinks.
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Why would you think that? Supernatural has never been a teenage drama bullshit show, so why would the spin off be centered around teens?
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Who knows how faithful they'll be to Supernatural's legacy? Supernatural is the last legacy of our dear Warner Channel, and the spinoff will be a brainchild of the CW. That can go either way. They might try to introduce a new generation of young hunters or something and go heavy in the young part. Anything is possible.
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