EXCLUSIVE: It’s the ladies’ turn in the Supernatural franchise. I have learned that the CW’s long-running drama series, about the adventures of the Winchester brothers, is prepping a new spinoff, Wayward Sisters, starring the original series’ standout Kim Rhodes.
The project — which is being developed as a planted spinoff and will have a backdoor pilot airing as an episode of Supernatural‘s upcoming 13th season — tells the story of Sheriff Jody Mills (Rhodes) and a group of troubled young women, all of them orphaned by supernatural tragedy. Under Mills’ training and protection, the women will emerge as a supreme monster-fighting force. Unlike the original series, which centers on a biological brothers, Wayward Sisters is about a sisterhood of girls in a foster family. The spinoff hails from a quartet of Supernatural writers-producers, showrunners Andrew Dabb and Robert Singer as well as Phil Sgriccia, Robert Berens. Warner Bros TV, which produces Supernatural, is the studio. The CW and WBTV declined comment.
Written by Berens and Dabb, Wayward Sisters is expected to bring over other characters featured on the mothership series as well as introduce new ones. I hear Rhodes is the only actress currently attached to the spinoff, with talks with others in various stages. Based on the premise of the project, two existing Supernatural characters, orphan Claire Novak and runaway Alex Jones, who had been put under Jody’s care, would fit in nicely, with Jody’s colleague and occasional partner, Sheriff Donna Hanscum, also a strong candidate.
Jody, Claire, Alex and Donna have been the dream quartet of characters of a spinoff fans had been rallying for, dubbed Wayward Daughters. Named in part after the title of the Kansas song that opens every Supernatural finale, Carry On Wayward Son, the Wayward Daughters spinoff idea was the result of a grassroots fan effort that started two years ago, soon after Bloodlines, the first proposed Supernatural spinoff, did not go forward. (Bloodlines too was introduced as a backdoor pilot, which aired during Supernatural‘s ninth season). Wayward Daughters had been embraced by some of the Supernatural actresses who have supported the effort on social media, and even have worn some of the T-shirts created by the fan campaign.
Supernatural has long had a close relationship with its fans, and Wayward Sisters is the latest example of the show’s producers listening to its passionate core viewers. One criticism from fans about Bloodlines — which explored the clashing hunter and monster cultures of Chicago — was that it only featured new characters viewers had no emotional connection to. The show’s constituency had been asking for a spinoff built around Supernatural favorites, and that’s what Wayward Sisters is about.
The spinoff is executive produced by Dabb, Singer, Sgriccia and Berens.
Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as the Winchester brothers who hunt demons, ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural beings. While Bloodlines, written by then-Supernatural supervising producer Dabb, did not go to series in 2014, the CW brass had remained high on finding a new concept to launch a Supernatural offshoot. “We’d love to do one, it would not happen this year but at some point,” the CW president Mark Pedowitz said in summer 2015. A big Supernatural fan, Pedowitz had called it “a franchise that has a lot of legs to it.”
Veterans Singer and Sgriccia have been on Supernatural since right after the pilot. Singer has served an executive producer/director and occasional writer. Sgriccia started as supervising producer, rising to executive producer. Dabb joined in Season 4 as writer, progressing through the ranks to executive producer. Berens has been on Supernatural for the past four seasons, moving up from a staff writer to supervising producer.
Rhodes has appeared in 12 episodes of Supernatural to date. Her Sheriff Jody Mills character was first introduced during Season 5. Rhodes also recently had a major recurring role on USA’s Colony and did an arc on CBS’ Criminal Minds.