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Supernatural Creator Eric Kripke Hasn't Seen Residuals From Netflix

Despite the billions of minutes watched and rewatched, Netflix hasn't paid out for streaming the mid-aughts megahit.

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Image: The CW

Every time I learn something new about the residual system within the streaming era I see red. This weekend it’s the fact that Eric Kripke, the man who created Supernatural, the hit show that went on for 15 seasons, at nearly 22 episodes per season, from 2005-2020, has never received residuals from Netflix.

Just let that sink in. Supernatural, which has consistently broken into the top 10 most watched shows on Netflix (for many reasons, but one of which is certainly the incredibly massive fandom the show still enjoys), has never once benefited its creator. And if Kripke isn’t getting residuals, you can safely assume that the numerous talented writers and directors who worked on the show for a decade and a half are certainly not seeing anything either.


This info comes from Deadline, who interviewed Kripke after a picket where many members of the Supernatural cast and crew marched for an equitable contract. Kripke told the outlet that he has gotten “zero residuals” for Supernatural from Netflix, unlike when the series has re-runs on networks like TNT. But on Netflix, where the show has continued to be a massive draw even well after its ending? Nada. Now, I’m no expert, but something about that seems wrong.

Kripke emphasized that he personally was doing fine—but there are more people than just him that were involved in Supernatural that should be paid for their work. “When you think of all the writers on my staff, who really could use that money, are in between jobs or something, that’s significant,” the producer told Deadline. “The fact that [streamers] can just live in this sort of new media disruptor black box and not pay what other networks are paying doesn’t seem fair.”


He’s right! It doesn’t seem fair! I didn’t rewatch all of Supernatural last year just to have none of it go to the writers! This is absurd, actually. Supernatural has 327 episodes, a fandom that schedules rewatches and charity events, who still regularly rewatches scenes to get the fanfiction just the way they want it, and you’re telling me that Netflix hasn’t paid any of the creators of this show? What is going on! The sheer absurdity of this statement; “Netflix hasn’t paid any residuals on Supernatural” should be enough to radicalize anyone. These strikes are existential. If writers can’t make a living off Supernatural, nobody in the industry below the executive level can make a living.

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