30 Shows Like Supernatural You Should Binge-Watch Next
No one could have guessed the cultural impact “Supernatural” would come to have on fandom when it debuted in 2005. For years, the monster-of-the-week series barely made it through cancelation season with fans, creators, the cast, and crew waiting on the edge of their seats to hear a glimmer of information about the show’s future. However, along with a surge in technology came the growth of the show’s fandom and the ability to binge the series on digital platforms.
For the first three seasons, “Supernatural” centers around two brothers: Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). The Winchesters cruise around the United States in a ’67 Chevy Impala, embarking on the world’s most macabre scavenger hunt — seeking out anything and everything that wants to kill them (and the general population) as they fend off demons and more than a few apocalypses. However, in Season 4, Misha Collins arrived on the scene as the angel Castiel — bringing the angels and demons plotline to a head. And from then on, the show would never be the same again.
“Supernatural” broke genre records for the longest-running TV series of its kind, but it certainly wasn’t the first series of its ilk, and it won’t be the last. The show’s 15-season long ride in the Impala may be over, but between other paranormal series, brother-led dramas, and a slew of series featuring the cast, there are plenty of shows to binge that are sure to have fans feeling nostalgic over their time with Sam and Dean Winchester — and a certain angel riding shotgun during their deadly adventures.
The Vampire Diaries
“The Vampire Diaries” debuted a few years after “Supernatural” came onto the scene. Still, the Winchesters certainly paved the way for the Salvatore brothers to haunt Mystic Falls with their vampire charm. Starring Ian Somerhalder as Damon and Paul Wesley as Stefan, the show similarly features co-dependent brothers who fall on a sword (or fang) for each other more times than fans can count.
Like Dean and Sam, Damon and Stefan play catch with who wins the “bad boy” title each season. While the OG good boy Sam struggles with a demon blood addiction later in “Supernatural,” Stefan has a similar plight with bloodlust as a not-so-recovered ripper. Translation? The youngest Salvatore brother has killed a lot of people — beheaded them, actually. The biggest difference between the two likeminded series comes from which side of the paranormal struggle each pair of brothers fall into.
Dean and Sam take the hunting monsters approach while the Salvatores tend to be the hunted. Luckily for the Winchesters, they never share a love interest, while the Salvatores find themselves in a perpetual love triangle with a Mystic Falls local, Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev). However, both elder brothers have impeccable tastes in classic cars. Between Dean’s ’67 Chevy Impala and Damon’s 1969 Chevy Camaro convertible, both brothers ride in style.
Long before “Supernatural” was a blip on the radar, “The X-Files” helped define the investigative supernatural genre with a sci-fi twist. Thankfully, Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) aren’t related — because that would make the characters’ palpable sexual tension, uh, super awkward.
The impact of “The X-Files” on “Supernatural” isn’t just a similar vibe, though. The show itself acknowledges its predecessor with a nod early in the pilot episode when Dean calls a pair of passing FBI agents “Agent Scully” and “Agent Mulder.” That’s not the end of the homages, however — the Season 2 episode “The Usual Suspects” amps up the references several notches. Dean says, “What do you think, Scully? You want to check it out?” Sam quips back, “I’m not Scully. You’re Scully.” Dean responds with, “I’m Mulder. You’re a redheaded woman.” Given that Sam is still a reluctant participant in their ghost hunting adventures in Season 2, Dean’s classification is on the mark. In “The X-Files,” Scully is the skeptic when it comes to aliens and the unexplainable, while Mulder is gung-ho. Sorry Sam, you are the redheaded woman. But Scully is a badass, as skeptical as she may be.
While it would have been fun to see Anderson and Duchovny star in an episode of “Supernatural,” possibly the alien-centric “Tall Tales” or “Clap Your Hands If You Believe,” their legacy is palpable throughout the show — so why not check out the original duo? There is one “The X-Files” actor who does make a significant appearance in “Supernatural.” Sam Winchester’s namesake and both brothers’ grandfather Samuel Campbell is played by none other than Walter Skinner actor Mitch Pileggi. Well, now the truth is out there.
The WB-turned-CW series “Smallville” not only birthed the modern era of superhero shows, but the Superman prequel made “Supernatural” possible with its monster-of-the-week setup. Before Clark Kent gets his big break at the Daily Planet, he lives with his parents on a modest farm in Smallville, dealing with the strange effects that Kryptonian meteors have on the small town. The show kicked off the new millennium in 2001 with Tom Welling scoring the role of a teenage Clark Kent and Michael Rosenbaum taking on one of the best iterations of Lex Luthor Hollywood has ever seen.
Even better? “Supernatural” fans may notice a familiar face in Season 4 of the superhero series. Jensen Ackles headed to Smallville as coach Jason Teague just one year before winning the role of Dean on “Supernatural,” giving him a significant season-long arc. Welling’s super series is essentially a coming-of-age version of “Supernatural” with a superhero twist — and a heartbreakingly beautiful villainous backstory. It’s pretty difficult to watch Lex and Clark go from being best friends tied at the hip to what the supervillain eventually becomes, but it sure makes for great TV. Just make sure you have a box of tissues standing by.
The Walking Dead
Let’s face it: “Supernatural” fans love hate-watching their favorite characters die. If there’s any show that racks up the body count like “Supernatural,” it’s the long-lived zombie series “The Walking Dead.” There must be something about gruff men hunting monsters that keeps shows like this on the air. Still, if fans love Sam and Dean Winchester, they’ll probably enjoy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) as they walk through a zombie wasteland and stab the former humans in their deadly sweet spot.
John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) may not win any father of the year awards for making his children hunt monsters before they reached double digits on “Supernatural,” but fans love to hate the Winchester patriarch. Well, John Winchester has nothing on Morgan’s “The Walking Dead” character Negan. Who needs a demon-killing gun or a classic car named Baby when you can have a barbed-wire-covered bat called Lucille? Love his characters or hate them, Hollywood needs more Jeffrey Dean Morgan. “The Walking Dead” was there to fulfill that wish between Morgan’s later stints on “Supernatural.”
Bon Temps, Louisiana is certainly no Lawrence, Kansas, but the Winchesters and the “True Blood” crew have a lot more in common than people might expect at first glance. Sure, the Winchesters’ first instinct would be to burn the nest down — or in the case of “True Blood,” the not-so-subtly named Fangtasia bar. But luckily for the “True Blood” vampires, they can survive on synthetic blood, making the bloodsuckers harmless — that is, if they choose to abstain from taking human blood by force.
Sure, the focus of “True Blood” may be on the monsters rather than hunters, but Dean and Sam have learned the lesson 10 times over that not all monsters are evil. Like the Winchesters, the “True Blood” crew hinges on loyalty, family, and a central location where the vamps can be themselves. Before burning down in Season 2, the Winchesters have Harvelle’s Roadhouse to serve the same purpose — and they’ll always have its recreation in Heaven.
American Horror Stories
“Supernatural” often takes moments of fear and hones in on them for an episode — whether it’s clowns, asylums, dolls, or feeling trapped. Meanwhile, Ryan Murphy’s anthology series “American Horror Stories” explores these innate fears for an entire season instead of just a one-off episode here and there. Boasting a cast including Lady Gaga, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, and Evan Peters, the show pulls out all of the stops.
The Winchesters face clowns in episodes like “Everybody Loves a Clown” and “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” while “AHS” clowns around for the entire fourth season in: “Freak Show.” Sure, Dean and Sam spend most of their time in non-haunted shady motels, but “Playthings” and “Drag Me Away (From You)” feature actually haunted hotels — much like “American Horror Story: Hotel.” Of course, the Winchester bros constantly deal with their most irritating foes: pesky witches, making the “AHS” season “Coven” the perfect binge for “Supernatural” fans. While the Winchesters are too busy fighting a demon apocalypse, “American Horror Stories” has a season tailor-made for all fears, with a deep-dive into what makes fear tick. Will you check in? Spoiler alert: You might not check back out.
The Haunting of Hill House
Dean Winchester spouts off a ton of sage wisdom in “Supernatural” — not the least of which is, “If someone says a place is haunted, don’t go in.” Well, the same rule applies to any parents out there whose kids are raving about a “bent-neck lady.” It’s time to get the hell out of dodge when your kids’ imaginary floating friends are that terrifyingly specific. Netflix’s mini-series “The Haunting of Hill House” is the perfect blend of family, trauma, and pure terror that will excite any “Supernatural” fan.
If your favorite episodes are “Bloody Mary,” “Provenance,” and “Asylum,” “Hill House” should be the next series on your ‘to binge’ list — if it isn’t already. Like the Winchesters, the Crain family has been through more than their fair share of family tragedy, leading the once-close siblings to drift apart.
Each member of the Crain family finds their own vice to deal with their supernaturally-tinged childhood and the ghosts — both real and internal — that plague them. The show is a haunting character study on grief and the human psyche wrapped up in a paranormal package and topped with the bow of the family ties that bind us. The reality that not all stories end well eclipses the desire for a happy ending — a tale the Winchester brothers are all too familiar with.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Dean and Sam Winchester may dominate the early (and late) aughts, but Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) own the ’90s. Sure, Xander (Nicholas Brendon) was there, too, but “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is first and foremost about girl power. It was the ’90s, remember? Like the Winchesters, the trio takes on the “protect the world from as many apocalypses as humanly possible” angle — except Buffy does it with heels and style and not a heap of plaid.
Like “Supernatural,” the vampire show begins with a monster-of-the-week formula but morphs much more into Big Bad season-long villainous arcs with fewer standalone episodes as the show goes on. In the case of “Supernatural,” the series heads in the humans vs. demons vs. angels route while “Buffy” opts to more deeply explore the history of the slayer lineage and the origin of evil. Of course, both series have “the chosen one” arcs. Whether it’s Buffy or the Winchesters, no one but them can save the world. “Buffy” also features a Romeo and Juliet-style romance between Buffy and Angel — one of the vampires she’s sworn to protect the world against. If the Season 7 “Buffy” character Vi looks familiar, that’s because a young Felicia Day played her long before she starred in “Supernatural” as Charlie.
Being a woman is terrifying enough when you’re not the only one in your entire species. For Laura Vandervoort’s “Bitten” character Elena Michaels, that’s precisely what the werewolf deals with on a daily basis — and plenty of the wolves are real skeeves about it. In addition to the typical werewolf-found family angle in the form of a werewolf pack, “Bitten” is unique in its portrayal of the human-to-wolf transformation. If you’ve ever watched a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it lycanthropic transformation scene, you probably had more questions than answers on how the anatomy of it all works. Sure, magic is the simple answer, but a little realism is also nice. It may be a small detail, but the realist painful and body snapping process of turning humans into wolves gives the show some of the grit that other iterations of werewolves are missing.
Elena starts her journey in the show much like Sam Winchester — wanting to live a normal life with her significant other and leaving her paranormal past (and family) behind. Like Sam, it doesn’t exactly work out, and she’s sucked right back into her wolfy ways. However, she and Sam should get a beer sometime. Keenly observant “Supernatural” fans may also notice that “Bitten” character Clayton Danvers looks a lot like Dale from the “Supernatural” episode, “Alex Annie Alexis Anne.” That’s because actor Greyston Holt played both characters.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
If you have a crush on the devil, you just might be in the “Supernatural” fandom — or a fan of any of the uber-popular series in the past decade that amp up Satan’s charm. “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is no different, though The Dark Lord’s (Luke Cook) goat hooves might turn people off. The show’s iteration of Sabrina Spellman certainly isn’t your mother’s Sabrina from the ’90s, adding a twisted take on Melissa Joan Hart’s innocent iteration.
“Supernatural” characters are no stranger to daddy issues, but imagine finding out that you’re the offspring of Satan himself when you’re just trying to be a witchy woman in high school. Sure, Jack Kline in “Supernatural” has some idea of what that’s like, but at least no one keeps his devilish origins from him. Throughout the four-seasons of “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) deals with apocalyptic problems, a witchy clique, a Satan daddy surprise, and a clone of herself, all while attending not one but two separate high schools. Can someone say witch angst? The plot may not be strikingly similar to “Supernatural,” but even Dean would find himself taking to this witch — though he has no sympathy for the devil.
When it comes to co-dependent and eternally reckless brothers who would die for each other, Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) from “Prison Break” are “Supernatural” levels of dysfunctional. Sure, they don’t have demons and ghosts to contend with, but they have their own version of a family business — the evil cabal their parents joined up with that put a target on their kids’ backs.
Though no one in the series has powers of any kind, The Company operates like a ghost, with members in every facet of the government, police, and any power position you could possibly think of. That makes things a bit difficult when The Company frames Lincoln for killing the Vice President’s brother. With Lincoln’s appeals exhausted, he’s headed directly to the electric chair — and Michael is determined to prevent his brother’s execution. So, naturally, he gets the blueprints of the prison tattooed all over his body and gets arrested so he can break his brother out of prison. Sounds easy, right?
Throughout the action-packed series, the brothers play tag between who will sacrifice himself for the other each week — all while everyone they’ve ever met ends up in a body bag. For anyone looking for a series to utterly destroy them with a tragic sibling bond and an ever-rotating slate of ill-fated guest stars, “Prison Break” is the show for you. Seriously, “Supernatural” fans, you’ll love it.
Ah, yes. Another pair of dysfunctional brothers. Sensing a theme here? “The Originals” debuted on The CW as the first spinoff of “The Vampire Diaries,” with a darker vibe and a New Orleans setting. In simplest terms, it’s essentially the OG show’s older sibling (despite airing later). The Salvatore brothers aren’t the only brothers to haunt the streets of Mystic Falls — as the series introduces the Mikaelsons in Season 2. As the thousand-year-old original vampires, the Mikaelsons tend to have less rigid morals than their younger vampire counterparts. To a family of vamps who have been alive since the 10th Century, what’s significant about pesky humans or triple-digit vampires, anyway?
Outside of the very moral Elijah Mikaelson, the eldest family adds a level of chaos that makes “The Originals” a tantalizing and addictive binge. Though the brothers backstab each other even more than they save their siblings, no one else survives messing with a Mikaelson — especially when a new member of the family gets added for the first time in a thousand years.
The arrival of Hope Mikaelson shakes things up in the Original family, and each member is willing to die for Klaus and Hayley’s baby. “The Originals” is the villainous redemption story all “Vampire Diaries” fans needed, and “Supernatural” fans will love the brotherly bond between Klaus and Elijah — which manages to be just a tad more dramatic than the Winchesters’ antics (if that’s even possible). But the one thing the Mikaelson’s will never beat the Winchesters at? The single man tear, of course.
“Supernatural” fans may know a thing or two about wibbly wobbly timey wimey from their friendly neighborhood angels, but the Winchesters’ time travel has nothing on the Doctor or his TARDIS. “Doctor Who” has been the go-to British sci-fi series since the ’60s, but after decades on and off the air, the show got a shiny makeover in 2009 with Chris Eccleston taking over as the Ninth Doctor. Of course, the Doctor forgoes an Impala for a Police Box (TARDIS) as his mode of travel throughout the sands of time.
Instead of hunting down ghouls and ghosts, however, the Doctor seeks out alien invasions in his quest to preserve the timeline — that is, when he’s not altering it for his own means. Like the Winchesters, each iteration of the Doctor has a slew of companions, and most of them don’t last very long. Fans of Crowley’s Mark Sheppard will notice the familiar face in the Matt Smith-led Season 6 of the rebooted “Doctor Who” in the episode, “The Impossible Astronaut.” And while James Marsters only appears in one episode of “Supernatural,” he shares a steamy kiss with John Barrowman’s character Captain Jack. Now, if that’s not enough to inspire Winchester fans to tune in, Sam’s childhood friend Amy Pond is even named after Matt Smith’s companion by the same name, played by Karen Gillan. There was definitely a “Doctor Who” fan on the “Supernatural” writing staff.
Calling all “Supernatural” fans obsessed with Samuel Colt’s demon-killing gun — and especially the Western-themed episodes. “Wynonna EARP” is the show to binge. Not only does the series boast a female-led cast, but the supernatural Western features a similar mystical gun called the Peacemaker. It’s a little on the nose, sure. Like the Winchester brothers, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) deals with a family curse that rivals Sam and Dean’s. While the Winchesters hunt monsters to carry on the family business, stop the apocalypse, and avenge their mom, they later learn that their fate is much bigger than that. The brothers go through hell (literally) to circumvent their family destiny that’s intertwined with the war between angels and demons. Wynonna’s family curse might not be quite that dramatic, but she still needs to use her magic gun to return wayward demons straight back to hell. Does that sound at all familiar, “Supernatural” fans? Has anyone seen the Rituale Romanum lying around anywhere?
The CW’s “Nancy Drew” couldn’t have come at a better time for “Supernatural” fans mourning the demise of their favorite show. Led by Kennedy McMann, the super-sleuth series debuted just one day before the season premiere of “Supernatural” Season 15 — giving fans a whole season to fall in love with the Drew Crew before bidding a teary adieu to the Winchester brothers and their tagalong angel.
Like “Supernatural,” “Nancy Drew” hinges on found family just as much as blood ties. Yet the show’s vibe is so “Supernatural” it almost hurts. The series takes on a similar monster-of-the-week tone with season-long arcs that loom throughout every episode. However, the most strikingly parallel aspect between each show is the vibe of the ghosts. For any “Supernatural” fans longing for the early days of genuinely terrifying ghosts and jump scares, “Nancy Drew” has you covered — all while boasting similarly haunting special effects. When “Supernatural” leaned into the angels vs. demons plotlines after season 4, the good ol’ scary ghost stories took a back seat in the impala to guts, gore, and a full-on war. Well, “Nancy Drew” is here to fill that void with captivating mysteries and more than a few scares — all while diving into what it means to be family.
The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” spinoff “Angel” is what happens when monster hunters go corporate. Imagine Sam and Dean Winchester start an official demon-hunting service fit with an office and business cards, and you’ve got yourself “Angel.” Hell, both shows even feature demons with a penchant for karaoke. As it turns out, more than a few “Angel” alum have shown up on “Supernatural” in some capacity. The list includes James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter as a feuding couple, and Christian Kane as Dean’s long-lost hunter bro. Amy Acker also starred in the episode “Dead in the Water” as one of Dean’s first flings on the show, and Mercedes McNab even dusted off her fangs to appear as the “Supernatural” vampire Lucy.
Unlike “Buffy,” its much darker spinoff is a bit more cavalier in killing off beloved main characters, opting for a much less happy ending. Much like “Supernatural,” it’s not wise to get attached to “Angel” characters. With the law firm Wolfram & Hart boasting direct ties to hell — and the apocalypse — things don’t exactly go well for Angel and his crew. After all, that’s what happens when you dance with the devil. Just ask Sam Winchester.
For fans of the early “Supernatural” episodes that deep-dive into folklore, the series “Lore” is just what Doc Benton ordered. The show evolved from Aaron Mahnke’s popular podcast by the same name, and the podcaster even narrates the first season. Each episode stands entirely on its own, boasting a new historical tale or piece of folklore in a web of history and a dash of implied fiction.
In most cases, “Lore” doesn’t take a stance on what actually happened — but merely poses a few supernatural suggestions or theories as to what may have happened, letting the audience decide what respectively falls into fact or fiction. In fact, most of those esoteric theories developed decades to hundreds of years ago, back when the events themselves happened. Of course, this was before people had science to explain the unexplainable. Was Bridget Cleary really taken by the fae and replaced by a changeling, or was she just ahead of her time with feminist ideals that her husband didn’t like? Did the consumption epidemic have anything to do with vampires, or was it just a blood-based tragedy? Well, that’s up to fans to decide for themselves.
The short-lived series took some of the mystery away in Season 2, removing Mahnke as the narrator and spinning the show in a more definitively paranormal Hollywood direction rather than letting the audience choose their own path for the mysteries posed. Ultimately, that was the nail in the coffin for “Lore,” but it was a fascinating ride while it lasted.
Along with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the ’90s brought us another incredible girl power series, “Charmed.” Whether it’s Buffy, the Winchesters, or Superman himself, the best characters all have one thing in common: They’re destined for greatness. While they deserve full autonomy over choosing whether or not to follow that path, the Halliwell sisters are no different — except instead of being the chosen one or two, they’re the chosen three.
Like “Supernatural,” the show begins by honing in on the death of the Halliwell sisters’ mother, setting the sisters off on their path to greatness in the form of a book. No, “Supernatural” fans, it’s not the bible or the Book of the Damned — it’s the Book of Shadows. Dean Winchester may despise witches, but any witch worth her salt has a spellbook.
Throughout the series, Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs), Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), and Prue’s replacement Paige (Rose McGowan) all develop their own special brand of powers as they rid the Earth of demons. To sweeten the cauldron, they’re joined by a species of angels known as Whitelighters who guide their witchy journey. Castiel fans, where you at? Speaking of Castiel, the angelic actor Misha Collins even appears in the episode “They’re Everywhere” in one of his earliest roles.
Who’s heard the joke, “A werewolf and a vampire walk into a bar …?” Wait, no, that’s the premise of “Being Human,” except no one is human, and they walk into a lease, not a bar. However, the setup to what seems like a bad joke doesn’t end there. Joining the unlikely duo is a ghost named Sally (Meaghan Rath), who takes up space without paying rent (rude!). If the antics that the vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer) and his werewolf roomie Josh Levison (Sam Huntington) give off a “Supernatural” vibe, there’s a reason for it — and it’s not just because Mark Pellegrino (Lucifer from “Supernatural”) stars in both shows.
Jeremy Carver and Anna Fricke co-created the U.S. version of “Being Human” between Carver’s stints on “Supernatural,” where he wore multiple hats from writing episodes, producing, and later showrunning the series alongside Bob Singer. In fact, in “Supernatural,” Chuck’s pen name Carver Edlund is a mashup of Jeremy Carver and fellow writer Ben Edlund’s names. If fans are looking for a show with a “Supernatural” vibe, they might as well find it in a series written by one of the “Supernatural” showrunners. Carver is also responsible for writing “Supernatural” fan-favorite episodes like “A Very Supernatural Christmas,” “In the Beginning,” “Death Takes a Holiday,” and “Changing Channels.”
There should be a support group for TV characters who sell their kids’ souls to demons or the devil. In fact, can we just not allow parents to use their kids as bargaining chips for the Dark Lord? No? Well, damn — literally, because these kids are headed straight to hell if they can’t figure out a way to circumvent their parents’ terrible decision-making skills. “Reaper” may have only lasted two seasons, but ironically enough, the main character Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison) would probably get along pretty well with Sam Winchester. Their parents both (sort of) sold their souls, after all.
Okay, so Mary Winchester didn’t technically sell Sam’s soul to the Yellow-Eyed Demon to resurrect her dead husband, John. Yet without asking so much as a follow-up question, she preemptively allows a demon to drip blood into her baby’s mouth 10 years later, enlisting Sam as a pawn in Azazel’s war to raise the literal devil.
In Sam Oliver’s case, his parents make a similar decision to sell their son’s soul to the devil to prevent his father, also named John, from dying. To win back his soul, Sam has to collect escaped souls from hell and return them to Satan (brilliantly played by Ray Wise). Of course, Lucifer doesn’t have a payroll, so Sam has to work at a home improvement store while he tries to prevent his damnation. The series is essentially “Superstore” meets “Supernatural” with an extra dash of absurdity and satire thrown into the mix.
So, what happens when you drag your best friend into the woods of your small town where nothing happens to see a dead body? You’re either getting bit by a vampire or a werewolf, that’s for sure. In the case of “Teen Wolf,” Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) naturally gets bitten by a werewolf. As if high school wasn’t awkward enough without developing an entirely new species’ hormones, Scott has to navigate his new wolfy tendencies alongside his nerdy friend Stiles (Dylan O’Brien).
Like “Supernatural,” found family is the name of the game for the bulk of Beacon Hills’ supernaturally-gifted teenage residents. A good chunk of Beacon Hills’ best and brightest either have an evil family or they have little to no family left — and there’s quite a bit of overlap. Of course, similar to “Supernatural,” the death status of the characters’ families shifts quite a bit, as does their evil barometer. Just don’t ask anyone in Beacon Hills to tell you their ages because creator Jeff Davis has no clue. Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) might be 19 at the start of the series, but he also might be 23. It’s really anyone’s guess. But the most important aspect of the show comes from found family kicking ass and taking names against the latest threat — whether it’s a pack of Alpha werewolves, a deranged aunt or uncle, or a group of trigger-happy hunters.
Superman & Lois
The “Supernatural” episode “After School Special” may be one of the sappier installments of the series, but it offers the show’s first significant window into the early days of the Winchester brothers. For fans who wished for a few more flashback episodes of the brothers during the duration of the series, The CW show “Superman & Lois” will help fill the void — especially if the Winchesters’ never-ending doom and gloom death cycles bum you out.
Like “Smallville,” “Superman & Lois” takes place in Superman’s hometown. Yet instead of going the prequel route, it exists in sequel territory with Clark (Tyler Hoechlin), Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch), and their sons Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alex Garfin) while the family navigates the super part of Superman — and the powers he passed down to one of his sons. Superman may be a looming presence in the series partly named after him, but the show’s heart really comes from the brothers’ bond — and that despite their differences, they are each others’ biggest cheerleader. The show offers a look at what Sam and Dean’s childhood could have been had John given them more of a stable and supportive environment as kids.
Some TV shows failed to get the memo that they can be downright terrifying if they want to be, but “Channel Zero” isn’t one of them. While “Supernatural” only has a few dozen truly scary episodes in the show’s vast catalog, “Channel Zero” hits the fearometer in every episode of the short-lived show. Even the series’ trailers are enough to make your skin crawl, so expect to do several double-takes during the duration of the anthology series. Wait, is something lurking in your closet? Better check.
If you’ve ever gotten one of those eye-roll inducing chain emails that tell you some lady will stand at the foot of your bed if you don’t share, that irritating movement helped birth some of the show’s inspiration. That’s right, creepypastas are the name of the game for this unsettling series, but not even the creepiest horror posts dwelling in the depths of the internet can match the unnerving way these tales play out onscreen.
Sam and Dean Winchester know a thing or two about legacy — and so do the main characters of the second “The Vampire Diaries” spinoff, “Legacies.” Hollywood has a slew of iconic TV brothers, but it’s about time we got some leading ladies gracing our screens after the ’90s. “Legacies” takes the teen angst of the original Salvatore-led show and amps it up to 11 as the show’s supernatural teens sneak around the halls of “The Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted.”
The two sibling witches are none other than Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and Josie Saltzman (Kaylee Bryant): Alaric Saltzman’s (Matthew Davis) doomed twin daughters. Like the Winchesters, the young women battle a fate that’s decided long before they’re born — one must kill the other and absorb their power. But in true Winchester fashion, they rally against their predetermined destinies — and would no doubt be a member of Team Free Will. Like the early seasons of “Supernatural,” “Legacies” hones in on a significant amount of folklore and mythology as the supernatural students battle against breeds of monsters the world has forgotten the existence of.
Of course, in addition to the wonder twins, the series also features a brilliantly courageous Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell). At the same time, Hope grapples with being orphaned and the brutal legacy of her father, Klaus. That’s a lot of baggage for one teen. The Winchesters would be proud.
The Hardy Boys
The Winchester bros may be a pair of hardy boys, but they’re not the Hardy Boys — we’ll save that moniker for “The Hardy Boys” characters Frank (Rohan Campbell), Joe Hardy (Alexander Elliot), and their dad Fenton, played by James Tupper. For anyone who’s ever wondered what “Supernatural” might look like if Dean and Sam received a moderately well-adjusted upbringing with a smidge fewer demon encounters and a lot less death, “The Hardy Boys” brings that more wholesome supernatural vibe.
Instead of constantly sacrificing themselves for each other and making demon deals, Frank and Joe opt for a slightly less chaotic mystery setup that usually ends with a “chick flick” moment. Dean would be scandalized (while secretly loving it). Like “Supernatural,” the brothers deal with the loss of their mother, but luckily, Fenton handles it just a bit better than John Winchester. For fans who need a break from the constant death-fueled angst fest that “Supernatural” brings to every episode, “The Hardy Boys” meets the vibe check — while providing its own lowkey brand of paranormal hijinks.
Well, “Supernatural” and superhero both start with the same word, so why shouldn’t they be similar? With the success of “Smallville,” it was only a matter of time before Batman received his very own TV origin story. Similarly named, “Gotham” came onto the scene in 2014, starring “The O.C.” alum Ben McKenzie as James Gordon and David Mazouz as a young Bruce Wayne. The series ditches the small town hope vibe of “Smallville” to explore the gritty underbelly of New York’s Gotham City. A recently orphaned Bruce Wayne navigates a world filled with super-charged villains throughout the series. Meanwhile, the series treats fans to fascinating origin stories for various iterations of DC Comics greatest Batman villains.
Stylistically, “Gotham” is pretty similar to “Supernatural.” It nails the dark vibe and exchanges supernatural creatures for humans with a little extra umph — whether it’s from an unfortunate run-in with a vat of chemicals, a long-winded torture session, or a luxurious stay at Arkham Asylum. But hey, in the words of Dean Winchester, “Demons I get, people are crazy.”
The first decade of the ’00s was a really great time for brother or pseudo-brother-led TV shows to dominate. Three years after “Supernatural” debuted, “Merlin” came onto the scene, offering fans a new spin on the Merlin and Arthur legend. While the show doesn’t get quite as dark as the paranormal series, “Merlin” no doubt offered Charlie Bradbury some LARPing inspiration when she’s not hooking up with fairies in “Supernatural.”
Unlike many modern tellings of mythical stories, “Merlin” doesn’t set the legend of Camelot in a contemporary setting, opting for a fun period piece filled with fictionalized history and more than a few mythical creatures. Instead of facing off against demons, the duo finds themselves at odds with a human king rather than the king of hell — but hey, semantics. The gist of the story remains the same as the unlikely duo spars with their fair share of mythical beings like the sorceress Morgana and The White Dragon. While Dean and Sam may never admit it, “Braveheart” fans certainly tuned in to “Merlin” when their motel rooms got the BBC channel. They’re way too excited about the existence of dragons to say otherwise.
Raise your hand if you can’t stop thinking about the Western “Supernatural” episodes “Frontierland” and “Tombstone.” Well, Jared Padalecki’s post-“Supernatural” show “Walker” delivers that energy on a weekly basis with Padalecki’s role as Cordell Walker — a Texas ranger. Hell, his onscreen “Supernatural” grandfather Mitch Pileggi even plays his dad on the cowboy show. Additionally, fans get to watch the Texas native Padalecki mount a horse more than a few times. The only thing missing is a cameo from Samuel Colt.
Padalecki’s character even has a classic car named Stella — that he received from his onscreen and real-life wife, Genevieve Padalecki. Of course, “Supernatural” fans recognize her as Ruby 2.0. The “Supernatural” cameos are strong with this one. Jared Padalecki is also a producer on “Walker,” giving him creative control over the series. Sure, it may be 10 times more wholesome than “Supernatural” is on its best day, but it’s also a glimpse at what the Winchester family could have been if they weren’t plagued by a sadistic god and more than a few demons.
Five years before Jensen Ackles arrived on “Supernatural” as Dean Winchester, the actor starred alongside Jessica Alba on the series “Dark Angel.” While the show opts for the sci-fi route instead of a paranormal gist, there’s a lot to love about the series — especially for Ackles fans.
Though the series debuted in 2000, “Dark Angel” takes place in 2019, a year we’ve long since passed (who feels old?). As it turns out, even in the early aughts, government-created super soldiers were all the rage — between Alba’s “Dark Angel” character Max Guevera to Jack Reacher and the always-popular Captain America. “Dark Angel” may not have had off-the-charts viewership, but it does offer something that “Supernatural” struggled with during its entire run: A female-led main character who doesn’t immediately die. That fact alone makes it worth the binge, even though it doesn’t exactly match the vibe, plot, or tone of “Supernatural.” But hey, who can turn down a series starring a young Jensen Ackles?
“Gilmore Girls” may seem out of place among the heap of supernatural adjacent shows, but hear us out. First and foremost, “Supernatural” is a series about family, and the Gilmore girls have that in spades. Daddy issues? Check. Jared Padalecki? Check. A Character named Dean? Check. Okay, so “Gilmore Girls” centers on a mother and daughter and not siblings, but given that Lorelai (Lauren Graham) had Rory (Alexis Bledel) when she was 16, they act more like siblings than parent and child.
“Supernatural” is very much a series about the loss of family, while “Gilmore Girls” hinges on the dichotomy of a fractured parental relationship between Lorelai’s wealthy parents, the co-dependent relationship between Rory and Lorelai, and the ever-mending dynamic between Rory and her dad Christopher. “Gilmore Girls” is a kaleidoscope of kooky characters and the deep exploration of family relations that any “Supernatural” fan will enjoy. Of course, the Gilmores are as pop-culture savvy as Dean Winchester — and as Rory’s first boyfriend Dean, Jared Padalecki appears more than a few times throughout the run.