We have a special category for shows that decide to bring in a new character to shake things up: New kid in town. The idea can be summed up in two words: Cousin Oliver. Remember when the Brady Bunch started to feel a little old and stale? All of a sudden, their pesty, tow-headed cousin Oliver showed up. But, instead of charming us or pushing the show in an interesting direction, he ended up exposing the real flaws of the series.
When our own Matt Mitovich recently reported on a new brother joining the Supernatural family in an episode titled, "Jump the Shark," we had to ask creator Eric Kripke about the genesis of the story. Here's what he had to say:
"When we were breaking the story about the third Winchester brother, we knew the fans would scream that we had jumped the shark. Of course, adding a new sibling or relative to an established series is a classic and cherished shark jump, Cousin Oliver being the patron saint of the practice. (And sure enough, Sam and Dean are eating at 'Cousin Oliver's Diner' in the episode). Anyway, it became clear that we should beat the fans to the punch and title the episode, 'Jump the Shark.' Though rejected titles included: 'When Leo Joined Growing Pains,' or 'The Raven Symone Episode.'
"For fans who are worried that we are truly jumping the shark... watch the episode, decide for yourself. Personally, I don't think we're gassing up the motorcycle quite yet, but you tell me. And stay tuned for next season, when the boys take trips to London and Hawaii (haunted Tiki dolls!) and Sam and Ruby get married. And Ted McGinley joins the cast as the thoughtful (but hot!) college professor."
Supernatural's "Jump the Shark" episode airs on April 23 (CW, 9 pm/ET).