Season Three consists of 16 episodes that aired on Thursdays at 9:00 pm in the United States beginning October 4, 2007, and ending May 15, 2008. Originally 22 episodes were ordered for the third season, but production was halted on December 5, 2007, upon completion of the twelfth episode due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. The season number was shortened to sixteen episodes, with four new episodes airing in April and May 2008.
The season mainly focuses on trying to save Dean from his deal and tracking down the demons that were released from the gate. Along the way, the brothers meet a demon named Ruby, who has an interest in Sam and claims to be able to help save Dean. Also, they meet Bela Talbot, an "acquirer" and seller of occult objects, who is constantly a thorn in their side. The brothers eventually learn what demon holds Dean's contract; a being of great power named [[Lilith (Supernatural)|Lilith. The brothers, along with Ruby, track her down and attempt to kill her. Lilith is unable to stop Sam due to his mysterious abilities, however, Dean's contract expires and his soul is taken to hell.