Less than a day after the announcement that Mark Pedowitz would leave the CW, the cast and creator of The Winchesters took time to honor the chairman and CEO who championed their Supernatural spinoff.
“Jared (Padalecki) and I referred to him as the other Winchester,” said Jensen Ackles, the former star of Supernatural who is now EPing the spinoff. He will also reprise his Dean Winchester character as a narrator of the new show.
“Mark was one of the greatest champions of TV over the last I don’t know how many years, and was an enormous champion of Supernatural,” added EP/showrunner Robbie Thompson. “We had a note on the pilot and it was so granular that I thought it was from a convention. He watched every episode, every cut of Supernatural. He’s fully invested in the show. All I thought about yesterday [when the news about Pedowitz was announced] was how privileged I was as a writer to have such a smart leader. There was no panic. I felt proud.”
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It was announced Monday that Pedowitz is stepping down as Chairman and CEO of the CW after eleven and a half years at the helm — one of the longest tenures ever in network television. The move comes as local TV giant Nexstar Media Group is taking over the CW, with its acquisition of 75% stake in the 16-year-old broadcast operation now completed. Pedowitz will be replaced by Nexstar board member Dennis Miller who was named President. His exit is effective immediately.
The Winchesters is an origin story about the parents of Dean and Sam Winchester, played in Supernatural by Ackles and Padalecki. The project is also EPed by Ackles’ wife, who recurred on Supernatural as Danneel, through their company Chaos Machine Productions. It premieres Oct. 11 on CW.
“This was obviously something that has been long talked about, how to expand this world,” Ackles told reporters today during the show’s TCA panel. “There have been two attempts prior to this that unfortunately didn’t make the cut. But here we are, we are very excited. It really came about as Supernatural was wrapping up. the pandemic hit, and my lovely wife and I were forced to sit together and figure out how to be creative in the confines in our house. This was one we talked about for quite a while. and that’s when we threw it to the studio and network. They were quickly very interested. I was not ever ready to kind of put this bed. I was ready to take a break, but not ready to put it to bed.”
Supernatural, which ended its 15-season run in 2020, followed Dean and Sam Winchester as they hunted demons, ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural beings. John and Mary were played on the show by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith.
Ackles said it’s important that The Winchesters focuses on not rewriting history. “We don’t want the picture of Dean and Sam to be erased. “We are trying to preserve everything we can on the mother ship. Robbie and his crack team of writers have come up with a way of doing that.”
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