‘Supernatural’ is one of The CW‘s highest-rated shows and going into its 14th season, it’s also the longest-running. So it’s unclear why the network is shortening the upcoming season to 20 episodes, versus the typical 23.  Seasons 1, 2 and 4-6 contained 22 episodes each, and every season after that consisted of 23.  Season 3 only contained 16 episodes due to the Writer’s Guild of America strike.  But now, season 14 will be the second-shortest after that.

The CW did not give any explanation for the shorter season.  The CW has expanded its programming.  For the first time, this fall, the network will include a Sunday night lineup, with ‘Supergirl’ and the new reboot of ‘Charmed’.  The network renewed the majority of its existing shows, so there wasn’t much room for new shows in its lineup.  ‘Charmed’, high school football drama ‘All American’, and ‘Vampire Diaries’/’The Originals’ continuation ‘Legacies’ are the only three new shows that will debut this fall, while another reboot, ‘Roswell, New Mexico’ has been ordered to premiere mid-season.  That will also be when ‘iZombie’ returns for its final chapter.  ‘The 100’ will also be back, but its future beyond that is undetermined.  Perhaps, The CW just wants to free up some time for other programs.  Or maybe considering the longevity of ‘Supernatural’ the cast and creators may have simply expressed a desire to lighten their workload.

While ‘Supernatural’ is getting long in the tooth, it’s still a strong performer for The CW.  And not only does it deliver ratings, it is also valuable in that it generates a lot of money from sales of licensed merchandise.  Perhaps looking toward a future when ‘Supernatural”s time has come, there have been two attempts to create spin-off shows, most recently the female-fronted ‘Wayward Sisters’, but ultimately, The CW passed.

At any rate, ‘Supernatural’ will most likely not suffer from a shorter season.  But it’s likely that stand-alone episodes, like ‘Scoobynatural’ may be filtered out, with the season focusing mainly on the A-storyline.

‘Supernatural’ returns for its 14th season on Thursday, October 11 at 8pm EST.

How do you feel about getting a little less ‘Supernatural’ this fall?

Source: TV Line