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The CW is taking another swing at a Supernatural spinoff.
The network’s first pilot orders of the 2022 cycle include The Winchesters, a Supernatural prequel following the parents of Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) in the long-running series that concluded in 2020. The network has also ordered a pilot for Walker: Independence, a prequel to Padalecki’s current series, and Gotham Knights, a DC Comics show from three Batwoman writers.
Additionally, The CW has ordered six more scripts for a Zorro drama that counts Robert Rodriguez among its executive producers.
The pilot orders come as CW owners WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS are looking into a potential sale of the network. Nexstar, which has a number of CW affiliates in its portfolio of nearly 200 local TV stations, is seen as a possible buyer.
The Winchesters will be the third potential spinoff of Supernatural; the first two, 2014’s Bloodlines and 2017’s Wayward Sisters, aired as backdoor pilots during the original show’s run but didn’t go to series. The prequel, narrated by Ackles (who’s also an executive producer) as Dean, will focus on “the epic, untold love story” of how John and Mary Winchester put everything on the line to save their love and the entire world.
Supernatural alum Robbie Thompson is writing the pilot and exec producing with Jensen and Danneel Ackles via their Chaos Machine company. Chaos Machine has an overall deal with Warner Bros. TV, which is producing alongside CBS Studios.
Walker: Independence is set in the 19th century (a la Yellowstone prequel 1883) and centers on Abby Walker, a wealthy Bostonian whose husband is murdered on their journey west. On a quest for revenge, Abby meets up with Hoyt Rawlins, a lovable rogue in search of a purpose. They settle in Independence, Texas, a place where nothing is as it seems.
CBS Studios produces. Seamus Fahey wrote the teleplay and shares story credit with Walker showrunner Anna Fricke; both exec produce with Padalecki, Dan Lin and Lindsey Liberatore of Rideback and Laura Terry of Fricke’s Pursued By a Bear shingle.
Gotham Knights comes from Batwoman writers Chad Fiveash, James Stoteraux and Natalie Abrams — though it’s not a spinoff of that series. It’s based on DC characters created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger (and unrelated to an upcoming Warner Bros. Games release). Following the murder of Bruce Wayne, his rebellious adopted son forms an alliance with the children of Batman’s enemies when they’re all framed for killing the Caped Crusader. With Gotham as dangerous as it’s ever been, the group of fugitives could be the city’s next saviors.
Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions are producing. Fiveash and Stoteraux are EPs along with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and David Madden. Danny Cannon will direct and exec produce the pilot; Abrams (who is married to The Hollywood Reporter West Coast TV editor Lesley Goldberg) is a co-exec producer.
As for Zorro, The CW is going outside its usual development playbook by ordering six additional scripts. Though no decision has been made yet, the extra teleplays could pave the way for a script-to-series order.
The CBS Studios drama centers on a young Latinx woman seeking vengeance for her father’s murder. She joins a secret society and adopts the outlaw persona of Zorro. (The show is one of two Zorro projects in development; Wilmer Valderrama is set to star in a telenovela-style version of the story for Disney Branded Television.)
Sean Tretta, Robert Rodriguez and Rebecca Rodriguez are writing The CW’s version; Rebecca Rodriguez is also set to direct. They executive produce with Ben Silverman, Rodney Ferrell and Howard T. Owens of Propagate, Geoff Clark, Eric Bromberg, Zorro rights holder John Gertz and Jay Weisleder.
Keep track of network pilot season developments with THR’s pilot guide.
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