‘The Winchesters’: Outgoing CW CEO Mark Pedowitz Is “The Other Winchester Brother”, Says Jensen Ackles
Less than a day after the announcement that Mark Pedowitz would leave the CW, the cast and creator of The Winchesters took time to honor the chairman and CEO who championed their Supernatural spinoff.
“Jared (Padalecki) and I used to refer to him as the other Winchester,” said Jensen Ackles, the former star of Supernatural who is now executive producing the spinoff. He will also reprise his Dean Winchester character as a narrator of the new show. “[Supernatural] had been put on Friday nights to kind of go away and die. We somehow found a way to survive. Pedowitz came in and he said, ‘well, let’s move these guys to some better real estate.’ And when we did, we quickly took off. He was always a champion for the show. I’m just so thankful for what he did, not only for the network itself, but for this world specifically. He’s a true mentor of mine.”
Mark Pedowitz’s Farewell Message To The CW Staff: “May All Of You Continue To Dare To Defy The Naysayers”
“We had a note on the pilot and it was so granular that I thought it was from a convention,” added EP/showrunner Robbie Thompson. He watched every episode, every cut of Supernatural. He’s fully invested in the show. All I thought about yesterday [when the news about Pedowitz was announced] was how privileged I was as a writer to have such a smart leader. There was no panic. I felt proud.”
It was announced Monday that Pedowitz is stepping down as chairman and CEO of the CW after 11 1/2 years at the helm — one of the longest tenures ever in network television. The move comes as local TV giant Nexstar Media Group is taking over the CW, with its acquisition of 75% stake in the 16-year-old broadcast operation now completed. Pedowitz will be replaced by Nexstar board member Dennis Miller who was named president. His exit is effective immediately.
The Winchesters is an origin story about the parents of Dean and Sam Winchester, played in Supernatural by Ackles and Padalecki, respectively. The project is also EP’ed by Ackles’ wife Danneel through their company Chaos Machine Productions. It premieres October 11 on the CW.
“This was obviously something that has been long talked about, how to expand this world,” Ackles told reporters today during the show’s TCA panel. “There have been two attempts prior to this that unfortunately didn’t make the cut. But here we are, we are very excited. It really came about as Supernatural was wrapping up. The pandemic hit, and my lovely wife and I were forced to sit together and figure out how to be creative in the confines in our house. This was one we talked about for quite a while. and that’s when we threw it to the studio and network. They were quickly very interested. I was not ever ready to kind of put this to bed. I was ready to take a break, but not ready to put it to bed.”
Supernatural, which ended its 15-season run in 2020, followed Dean and Sam Winchester as they hunted demons, ghosts, monsters and other supernatural beings. John and Mary were played on the show by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith, respectively.
Ackles said it’s important that The Winchesters focuses on not rewriting history. “We don’t want the picture of Dean and Sam to be erased. We are trying to preserve everything we can on the mother ship. Robbie and his crack team of writers have come up with a way of doing that.”
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