UPDATE: Supernatural renewed for season 7.

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fans are eager to start the second half of season 6, but it’s never too early to look to the future. While other networks have already started to make plans for the 2011-2012 TV season, the CW has yet to make any decisions on renewals. However, Supernatural fans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

While the show’s fate was in doubt last year at this time, this year I’m more confident than ever before that Supernatural will return for season 7. Here are just four of the reasons why fans of Sam and Dean should be feeling good about the chance for more Supernatural beyond this year.

The Ratings

Of the 10 shows on the CW’s fall 2010 line-up, Supernatural was in the top half in terms of ratings, behind America’s Next Top Model, The Vampire Diaries, Nikita and Smallville (which is officially in its final season). So while the ratings might not be stellar, they are for the CW. Even on Friday nights, Supernatural does better than 90210, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and Hellcats, which gives it a leg up on most of the network’s potential renewals.

A Strong Friday Lead-In

Ever since the CW lost Friday Night Smackdown, Smallville has served as the lynchpin of Friday night scheduling. Since Smallville will end after this year, the network will need a new show to fill that 8pm time slot. Supernatural makes the most sense since it could help provide a boost to a new show the network could launch after it, much the same way they used The Vampire Diaries as a lead-in for Nikita. Friday nights are a difficult time since most people don’t watch TV, so a network needs a show with a loyal audience, and that show is Supernatural.

The Story

If the CW was going to end Supernatural, last year was the time to do it. Eric Kripke was leaving as showrunner and his five-year story arc came to an end. However, it got picked up for season 6 under the guidance of Sera Gamble. In most instances, a new showrunner can kill a show (see The West Wing and Gilmore Girls), but Gamble has done a great job creatively and has kept the show fresh and exciting. Now that the network knows Supernatural can survive without Kripke, there’s no fear in keeping it on even longer.

The Fans

There is no other show on the CW that rivals the fandom of Supernatural. In fact, I’d argue that there’s no other show on TV with fans as rabid and devoted as Supernatural. I’ve spent more than three years writing about the show, and the level of excitement and loyalty the fans have to Supernatural still astounds me. The CW would be foolish to give that up, and they’d also risk a fan campaign to save the show that would rival the now-famous “Nuts” campaign for Jericho.

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Sure, Supernatural fans can just say that they love the show and want it to stay on, but that’s not enough. If you look objectively at all of the facts and what the CW is dealing with, study all the shows and try to plan a strong schedule for the new TV season, keeping Supernatural on for season 7 is the logical answer. All signs point to good news, and when the CW finally announces its plans for the 2011-2012 TV season, I’ll be shocked if Supernatural isn’t a major part of that plan.

(Image courtesy of the CW)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.