You chose the questions, theTVaddict.com sent them out. Only one showrunner [thus far] was cool enough to respond.
Eric Kripke yet again proved how much he cares and respects his fans. Not only did the SUPERNATURAL mastermind take the time to answer your questions, he answered them with his trademark wit and flair. Eric Kripke is the man, truly putting the ‘super’ in SUPERNATURAL.
1. Every day, tens of thousands of television fans visit theTVaddict.com. Here’s your chance to attract a new fan, or two or three! Give us your best one sentence sales pitch to encourage fans to tune into your show come fall 2007.
Eric Kripke: Supernatural won’t just change how you feel about television; it will change how you feel about yourself.
Seriously, though, Supernatural is funny, scary, and bloody; if you dug X-Files and Buffy, tune in, you will dig this show, too.
2. What can fans expect from your show at the start of the new season?
This is the season I’ve been personally waiting for, for what that’s worth. The Gates to Hell have been opened, and hundreds of Demons have been unleashed upon the American landscape. We find Sam and Dean fighting the first battles of this new, very scary, very dire war. On a personal note, Dean sold his soul, and he’s living his last year, which is rich terrain to explore. Sometimes he’s hedonistic, something he’s nostalgic, sometimes he’s terrified…all the different emotions terminal patients experience, basically. As for Sam, he’s struggling against Heaven and Hell to save his brother. Meanwhile, Sam begins to grow up this season… He becomes stronger. More decisive. A better hunter. A better leader.
On top of that, there’s Creepy Evil Children, Vampires, Unlucky Rabbit’s Feet, Witches, Bloody Fairy Tales, Evil Santas, Roadside Mystery Spots, and so much more.
3. How far in advance do you plan your show’s story arcs? Going into the season, do you know how the season is going to end?
We have a rough outline of the show’s mythology…usually about two seasons worth. Currently, we know the storyline through about the middle of the fourth season. But the outline is intentionally left with many large, gaping holes, because you figure out so much as you go, and you need to leave room to adjust and improve and alter, as the Season progresses.
4. How much input do you allow your actors to have when it comes to developing their character?
Jared and Jensen deserve the lion share of the credit for developing their characters. The producers only devise storylines and dialogue… But the guys are the ones who bring it all to life, who infuse the characters with charisma and humanity. The more we got to know Jared and Jensen, the better we were able to tailor their roles specifically to their personalities. So its all an organic and symbiotic process.
5. What are your thoughts on online spoilers and spoiler specific reporters? Do you believe they help or hinder a show?
I personally have no problem with spoilers. A certain type of person wants to know the upcoming secrets before anyone else. Hey, man, I’m on-line too, digging up whatever scraps I can about Indy 4. Spoilers get fans excited about what’s on the horizon. For me, speaking personally about Supernatural, the only trouble comes when the fans (and you know who you are!) start judging or criticizing a show element before seeing the final product. Therefore, they’re much less likely to enjoy the actual storyline, because they’re not approaching it with an open mind, they’re already biased. I have to admit, I find that frustrating.
6. When crafting story-lines, how much of a factor is online fan reaction?
I like to use the message boards as real time audience testing. You have to take online fan reaction with a big wheel barrow of salt… you can’t get too affected by any one comment. But when the on-line fans overwhelmingly love, or hate, something, we tend to pay attention to that.
7. Do you find nowadays — as a result of increased competition — you spend as much time promoting your show as you do writing it? And is that a good thing?
I find myself spending a crapload of time promoting the show. We always joke that we’re the best kept secret since the Manhattan Project. We don’t get a lot of promotion or advertising, so we have to figure out ways to spread the gospel ourselves, to let genre fans know there’s a bad ass horror show on the CW, so come find us! Honestly, promoting the show is the LAST thing I want to be doing. I’d so much rather spend my time locked in a cave, focusing on the creative, making sure the scripts kick ass. But we’re a cult hit, not a runaway one, and we’re constantly overshadowed by the specter of cancellation…so I have to worry about promotion. This is the world we live in, unfortunately.
8. You obviously have to answer hundreds, if not thousands of questions from reporters in an effort to promote your show. What’s the most surprising question you’ve ever been asked?
What inspired you to introduce Supergirl to the show? (They thought I was the producer of Smallville.)