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Supernatural: Can it float a spinoff?

Supernatural season 8 title
Supernatural season 8 title
screen grab via CW

Supernatural can’t last forever. This makes us very sad. However, the CW has ordered a “sample” of a potential spinoff to take it’s place when axe time finally comes. This makes us very happy. But, what is it about? And moreover, will it sink or swim?

Supernatural spinoff got a name, then name change.

The original name of the proposed spinoff was supposed to be Supernatural: Tribes. This has been changed, however, to Supernatural: Bloodlines. This actually seems appropriate, since, if it involves Supernatural it will be bloody, and the bloodlines of various families (of both humans and monsters) do seem to be a key underlining thread throughout the show.

It also gives us the impression that this expansion of the franchise will hold true to the basic nature of the show. With other franchises we’ve seen what happens when the nature of the original show is abandoned. The hugely popular Stargate franchise was on track to pull a Star Trek (yes, we used that as a verb), spinning off time after time in every direction... until showrunners decided to make it “more edgy”. The result was Stargate: Universe, and the apparent death of the franchise.

What was really sad, is that Stargate: Universe wasn’t a bad show. It was actually pretty good, and we do miss it. But, it was a betrayal of the show’s nature, and thus, the fans. If the the show’s producers had just gone with a more traditional spinoff and waited to put out that ‘darker, more edgy” tale for a few more years it might have flown. Now, however, it’s floating aimlessly between galaxies.

Supernatural: Bloodlines does take a bit of a turn from the normal Supernatural path, however.

Instead of racing around the country tracking down monsters and assorted objects of power Supernatural: Bloodlines is predicted to be somewhat stationary. The series takes place in the city of Chicago. According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Supernatural: Bloodlines, airing as a planted episode on April 29, is described as a sweeping drama about the various mafia-esque monster families that unknowingly to humans "run" the underbelly of Chicago and who are being tracked by a newly minted Hunter who is trying to stop them and rid Chicago of anything or anyone supernatural.

One of the little touches that kept the original show interesting was that the Winchesters and their extremely motley crew of varying associates were in a different state every episode. There were even betting pools among fans on which location they would end up in next. Staying the same city all, or even most, of the time might not go over well with the group.

On the other hand, there are also those Supernatural devotees who were happy to see the brothers find and settle in at the Men of Letters bunker in the last few seasons. A home base of sorts that gave them a small sense of stability that neither Sam nor Dean had ever had (or, at least, had ever been able to hold onto).

What kind of chance does Bloodlines have?

We won’t know the answer to that until after April 29, when the embedded pilot airs as an episode of the original Supernatural. The fan response will, of course, be key. The CW will, no doubt, be paying close attention the ratings for that episode, and the showrunner will be especially interested in the social media buzz for at least 72 hours afterward.

So, what do you think? Do you think Supernatural: Bloodlines has a shot in hell? Or will it too be left to drift between worlds?

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