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SUPERNATURAL

Jared Padalecki (center) in "Supernatural"

Photo by Shane Harvey, The CW 

The demon-fighting Winchester brothers — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) — will be able to park their ’67 Chevy Impala after the 15th season of “Supernatural.” The journey to the conclusion begins Friday.

Mark Pedowitz, president of the CW network, has been fielding questions about the end of the show for years. He explains how the decision to finally wrap up the series came about after long discussions with Padalecki and Ackles, along with the creative team behind “Supernatural.”

“We all came to understand what the guys wanted to do,” Pedowitz says. “They wanted to go out still relevant. They wanted to go be with their families. They wanted to see what else was out in the world. And you know what? It is as we always said, and I said this many times, when they were ready to stop, we will stop.”

While it sounds like Pedowitz has accepted that the show is ending, he says, “If you can convince them to come back, I’m open.”

Such a return — at least for another season of the TV show — doesn’t look to have any chance of happening. Only 11 other scripted TV shows have stayed on the air for 15 or more seasons, including “ER,” “NCIS” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

The 15th season, which will bring show’s number of episodes to 327, will test Sam and Dean more than ever as they find themselves dealing with God.

The show’s longevity has surprised Padalecki, who didn’t expect it to last beyond the first episode.

“In all fairness, in Season 1, I thought the show would end when we closed the trunk and said, ‘We have work to do,’ because it’s such a bizarre thing to be able to be a TV show that films a full pilot, not a pilot presentation, and then gets to have that air and then gets to have more episodes purchased and bought and paid for,” Padalecki says. “One of the wonderful things about my experience with the show is that I was sort of wonderfully in the same position that Sam was. I didn’t know how it was going to end.

“I guess I wondered, but I never asked the question. I just kind of got up and kept my feet moving. So for me, I didn’t know the show was going to end. We still technically haven’t filmed the end of (the) show, so to some degree we don’t know how the show is going to end. But I’m grateful to be here after 15 years.”

In the beginning, series creator Eric Kripke had told the cast that he had a five-year plan for the show. When the series reached the five-year mark, Kripke left, but the production continued to gain a loyal fan base. That resulted in the continued renewal that helped make “Supernatural” one of the most successful shows in TV history.

Ackles is happy “Supernatural” outlived the original plan.

“It’s kept us all together and kept us all gainfully employed now for 15 years,” he says. “And we’ve been able to continually tell this story, and it’s a story that we’re all very excited about — very passionate about. And I love these characters. I wouldn’t be sitting here if I didn’t.

“It’s something that means a lot to me, and it hasn’t grown old. That’s not why we’re entering into the final season. But I certainly don’t want it to grow old, which might be why, I think, we’re all wanting it to go before it does get to that point.”

Ackles knows the finale won’t please everyone. His hope is that the majority of the fans and the people that have been with the program through the long journey will be happy with how it comes to an end. The last thing he wants is for any loyal fans to feel let down.

What “Supernatural” • When 8 p.m. Friday • Where The CW • More info cwtv.com/supernatural