EXCLUSIVE: There is a new Walker, Texas Ranger in town. Supernatural star Jared Padalecki is set to headline and executive produce Walker, a reimagining of CBS’ long-running 1990s action/crime series Walker, Texas Ranger, I have learned.
The project, written/executive produced by Anna Fricke (Valor) and executive produced by Dan Lin (Lethal Weapon) and Dan Spilo (Sunnyside), is being shopped by CBS TV Studios. I hear the CW, home of Padalecki’s long-running series Supernatural, has emerged as a leading contender for the new show, with CBS, which aired the Chuck Norris-starring Walker, Texas Ranger, also considered a possibility.
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Like the original series, created by Albert S. Ruddy & Leslie Greif, the reboot, in which Walker is getting a female partner, will explore morality, family, and rediscovering our lost common ground. At the center of the series is Cordell Walker (Padalecki), a man finding his way back to his family while investigating crime in the state’s most elite unit. Our broken widower and father of two returns home to Austin after being undercover for two years for a high profile case – only to discover that there’s even more work to be done at home. In a nod to the original series, Walker and his new partner — one of the only women in Texas Rangers’ history — are the modern day heroes our world needs, following their own moral code to fight for what’s right, regardless of the rules.
Texas native Padalecki and Fricke executive produce with Rideback’s Lin and Lindsey Libertore and Industry Entertainment’s Dan Spilo. Rideback and Industry Entertainment produce with CBS Studios.
I hear Walker is a straight reboot, in the vein of CBS’ Magnum PI and MacGyver, with a new incarnation of the beloved title character, vs. a sequel where the new lead is a descendant of the protagonist in the original series.
I hear there is great enthusiasm for Walker at the CW where Supernatural has been an institution, with its stars Padalecki and Jensen Ackles revered by CW fans and enjoying a very close relationship with the network’s president and big Supernatural fan Mark Pedowitz.
As Supernatural is heading into its 15th and final season, Pedowitz has made it clear that the door at the network is wide open for the creative team and talent of the show to return anytime. “You will always have a home here, and you will always have a personal fan in me,” he said at TCA last month.
Meanwhile, CBS has had success with reboots of classic procedurals like Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and the original Walker, Texas Ranger has a legacy on the network. It aired for eight seasons and spawned a followup TV movie, the 2005 Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire.