Production is moving forward for Jensen and Danneel Ackles. With their latest endeavor, “The Winchesters” slated to premiere on The CW on Oct. 11, the couple recently renewed their first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television for two more years and teases there’s a few more stories they’re looking to share in the future through their production company, Chaos Machine.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with Warner Bros. as it’s been our home for a long time. It feels only natural that The Winchesters would stay within the Warner Bros. family and continue on the Supernatural legacy,” said the couple in a joint statement.
The “Supernatural” prequel series, is a continuation of the Ackles’ relationship with the CW –– and despite recent changes in leadership as Mark Pedowitz stepped down as CEO and the network’s recent sale to Nexstar, Jensen says he and his wife/business partner remain hopeful that their relationship with The CW will continue to be fruitful.
The actor, who starred in “Supernatural” for 15 seasons on the network, has seen his fair share of changes throughout his tenure. Since beginning their journey, Jensen has seen the transition from David Janollari as former president, Dawn Ostroff, and now Channing Dungey at the reigns of WBTV.
Internally, the series also experienced various switches in showrunners from Sarah Gamble to Jeremy Carver, and lastly Andrew Dabb. Change isn’t new or scary to the seasoned veterans at Chaos Machine, but the hope is still there for a pleasant transition of power to the CW’s new president, Dennis Miller.
“I look forward to meeting Dennis and I look forward to collaborating with him and hopefully seeing what his plans are for the network and for the future of the shows,” says Jensen, adding that he’s got “concerns” but isn’t “scared.” “I just want to make sure that we still can make the shows that we think are the best for the audience that we’re we’re trying to entertain. Hopefully we find a really good partner with Dennis and with Nexstar and everybody continues to elevate what we already knows is a great is a great family and a great home at CW.”
In terms of shows, the couple is already on the ground running as their new series “The Winchester’s” premieres on Oct. 11. Meeting their audience is a skill both Jensen and Danneel have a knack for (if you’re a satisfied “Supernatural” follower) and the goal for this spinoff is to be another branch of the “Supernatural” family tree to bring more fans into the fold.
“We know that there’s a built in audience here that was obviously something that we wanted to protect and to service as much as possible, but also also have a little bit of a new voice and give this cast of characters kind of their own space to do what they need to do and not just be a tie to the mothership,” said Jensen.
While it may take some time for the series to grow to that point, but the Chaos Machine founder is assured their team has the right ingredients to do so.
Narrated by Jensen (who formerly portrayed Dean Winchester in the original iteration), the show follows a young John and Mary Winchester –- teens who set out on a demon hunting mission to save the world and ultimately fell in love in the process.
Meg Donnelly and Drake Rodger star as the titular characters and are joined by a diverse cast of friends including Jojo Fleites and Nida Khurshid.
“With these kind of magnetic personalities, I dare you not to love them,” Danneel tells Variety. ” I watch it and am like ‘They’re so great and they love each other so much.'”
In characters like Fleites’ Carlos and Khurshid’s Latika, the chiefs behind the show including writer/producer Robbie Thompson made a conscious decision to include represent people of other various backgrounds in this period action series – but the choice was ultimately born out of their organic storybuilding.
As fictional TV has grown more inclusionary over the years, shows with large fan bases like “Supernatural’s” have typically accepted different and new storylines with mixed reviews. While that might have been a deterrent for some fantasy series of the past, Jensen and Danneel used the show to be a proper reflection of the times –– past and present.
“It felt very natural,” says Jensen. “Also, if you go back to that time period – you go back to the late 60s and early 70s, and that’s when things were really kind of shifting from a social perspective.”
“It just made sense that of course there would be some sort of a Hispanic hippie rolling into town and and doing his thing or there was a book smart British woman of Indian culture,” he added.
“Life has always been that way,” Danneel chimed in. “I know some people don’t want to think that but there have always been non binary people. So for us to include a non binary character, that just makes sense because that is life.”
“We’re in a space now where I feel like it is not only largely accepted, but it’s encouraged and I think that that’s fantastic. So we just took that as fuel and went with it. It was a very natural organic thing,” Jensen closed.
As for the other projects in the works at their production company, the couple is staying tightlipped on any major details but teases their upcoming slate is definitely within familiar territory. In addition to partnering with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, the couple reveals development deals have been made and they’re hard at work to get off the ground.
In the meantime, Jensen says he’s just glad to have a producing partner like his wife who takes care of all things home and career.
“She is a shark when it comes to this. I had no idea. I should have known because she basically produces our family all the time. But she’s just killing it,” he says. “So it’s a lot of fun, and I’m glad we get to do it together.”
“The Winchesters” will debut on on Tuesday, October 11, at 8 p.m. on The CW.