To generate curiosity and viewers for “Supernatural” season one, The WB relied heavily on one of the pilot’s most shocking images – that of Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith) being pinned to the ceiling by flames (a fate that also happens to one more woman at the end of the episode).
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the network gave out coffee cup covers to about 500 coffee shops across the country that, when heated, revealed this image. In addition, however, specialized mirrors have been installed in around 200 nightclubs. To anyone looking into these mirrors, it appears as if a woman is nailed to the ceiling behind them. One can only imagine the shock of a person walking into a club bathroom to fix their makeup only to see a terrified woman glued to the ceiling above them in a fiery fire.
While these promotional efforts were certainly eye-catching, it’s hard to determine how effective they were. Supernatural’s longevity alone proves that there has always been a built-in segment of viewers wanting to keep up with the Winchester brothers’ paranormal activities.
However, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter, the series pilot garnered 5.69 million viewers the same day it aired on September 10, 2005, and across all WB and CW shows, averaged a 4 rank average, 2 in total views across all seasons and never fell below 1 million viewers until the fifteenth and final season. Clearly, even now, Supernatural fans still have an appetite for more, as evidenced by the fact that The CW has produced a prequel series called The Winchesters, which will air October 11th.