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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The CW's coronavirus schedule shift kind of gives Supernatural another final season

Illustration for article titled The CW's coronavirus schedule shift kind of gives Supernatural another final season
Photo: Jack Rowand (The CW)

The CW, like every other TV network, has suspended production on all of its shows that would otherwise be filming or undergoing post-production right now due to the threat of the coronavirus, and now the network has become the first to make some alterations to its schedule in order to account for the rapidly dwindling supply of new episodes it has for shows that were supposed to be airing this spring. For starters, this past week’s episode of Legacies will be the last we see of the Vampires Diaries spin-off Legacies for the foreseeable future, as only 16 episodes of its current season were able to be finished before everything was shut down. To make up for that, the second season of In The Dark will be premiering on April 16 instead of May 28.


The network will also be airing more reruns of The Flash in order to spread out its remaining episodes, and its truncated season will now end on May 12. That’s the day Stargirl was supposed to premiere, but it’s now being moved back to May 19 so it can just fill in The Flash’s timeslot (it was always supposed to replace The Flash, but that wasn’t supposed to happen until May 26 when the show had ended the normal way). All other CW shows—save for one, more on that later—that had episodes banked will air those episodes this spring as intended, but more gradually than they normally would (a specific schedule hasn’t been revealed for anything but The Flash). Basically, all of the shows on now will just end at some point, with some being quietly replaced by the shows that would’ve replaced them in the summer.

The outlier in all of this is Supernatural, which is getting some special treatment for its final season. Series producer Andrew Dabb revealed on Twitter a few days ago that the most recent episode (the 13th of this season) will be the last one to air for a while even though everything through the 18th episode had already been filmed. Apparently, there are some episodes that can’t be finished due to the show’s visual effects and sound departments closing, but rather than just airing what it has, as The CW is doing with its other shows, it’s cutting Supernatural off now so it can air a final batch of seven episodes at some point in the future. As Deadline explains, a seven-episode season is on par with what cable networks and streaming services do, making it “easier to schedule, market, and consume” than airing everything up to episode 18 now and then airing episodes 19 and 20 later.

In other words, the final season is now kind of a penultimate season, and those final seven episodes will kind of make for another final season! It’s the same amount of episodes that would’ve aired, but it’ll feel slightly more special.