Two years after Supernatural ended its 15-season run, the monster-hunting Winchester family returns to television in a new prequel series on The CW. The Winchesters expands the world of Supernatural by flashing back to the 1970s, when John Winchester and Mary Campbell — the parents of Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles’ Sam and Dean — met and fell in love. John and Mary’s grand romance is often alluded to in Supernatural, but the reboot brings this story to the forefront while also introducing a new paranormal force that threatens all of humanity.
Though The Winchesters takes place 35 years prior, it feels like a natural continuation of Supernatural, which successfully blended family drama and the occult for a decade and a half. Still, there’s plenty for longtime fans and newcomers alike to enjoy, and during a Tuesday panel, co-executive producer Jensen Ackles and the cast previewed what’s to come for television’s favorite demon hunters. Here’s everything to know about The Winchesters, The CW’s Supernatural spinoff:
Long before the Winchester brothers teamed up to slay monsters, their parents did the same. Told from the perspective of Dean (Jensen Ackles), who serves as narrator, The Winchesters tells the story of how John Winchester (Drake Rodger) and Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) began their lives together as supernatural slayers. After returning home from the Vietnam War, John, whose father disappeared 15 years ago, crosses paths with Mary, a 19-year-old demon hunter on a quest to find her own father. John and Mary’s shared mission bonds them, and they soon join forces to investigate the hidden truths about their families.
The Winchesters sees Jensen Ackles reprise his role as responsible eldest brother Dean Winchester, who narrates the series. Dean and his 1967 Chevy Impala appear only briefly in the pilot, but his voice can be heard throughout each episode as he attempts to work through the many questions about his family that popped up throughout Supernatural. In addition to narrating, Ackles executive produces the prequel series with his wife Danneel Ackles, who played angel Anael in later seasons of the drama.
Taking over the reins as John Winchester is Drake Rodger (The In Between). Rodger bears a striking resemblance to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played Dean and Sam’s father in the first two seasons of Supernatural.
Meg Donnelly (American Housewife) plays Mary Campbell, Dean and Sam’s mother. An experienced demon hunter, Mary introduces John to her world and despite her no-nonsense exterior, she develops a soft spot for his inherent sweetness.
Though she tends to work alone, Mary is part of a larger network of hunters that includes trainee Latika (Nida Khurshid, Station 19) and the easygoing Carlos (Jonathan “Jojo” Fleites). Together, the foursome combats all sorts of supernatural threats, including a centuries-old demonic force hell-bent on destruction.
The Winchesters also stars Bianca Kajilich (Legacies) as John’s mother Millie, who is determined to protect her son from a dangerous life of demon hunting, and Demetria McKinney (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne) as Ada, a bookstore owner whose interest in the occult proves instrumental in solving the mystery of Mary and John’s disappearing fathers.
Beyond the main cast, Tom Welling (Smallville) recurs as Mary's father Samuel Campbell, who was played in Supernatural by Mitch Pileggi. Welling will make his first appearance as the gruff, pragmatic demon hunter in Episode 7, the halfway point of the 13-episode season.
The Winchesters premieres Tuesday, October 11 at 8:00 PM ET on The CW. New episodes will air every Tuesday.
The easiest way to stream The Winchesters is on The CW website or via The CW app.
Unlike Supernatural, which is currently available to stream on Netflix, The Winchesters is not expected to land on Netflix after its first season concludes its run on The CW. Supernatural streams on Netflix as part of a deal that expired in 2019; The CW shows released after 2019 typically stream HBO Max, so it’s likely that The Winchesters Season 1 will arrive on the Warner Bros.-owned platform in Summer 2023 or later.
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.
TOPICS: The Winchesters, The CW, Nida Kurshid, Supernatural, Bianca Kajlich, Danneel Ackles, Demetria McKinney, Drake Rodger, Jensen Ackles, Jonathan "Jojo" Fleites, Meg Donnelly, Tom Welling