Walker is a reboot of the long-running 1993 drama series Walker, Texas Ranger, which originally aired on CBS. Walker was announced in the Fall of 2019, and in January 2020, The CW ordered Walker to series. The series was developed by Anna Fricke. On February 3, 2021, The CW ordered a second season.
"At the center of the series is Cordell Walker, 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."
Cast and characters
- Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker, a policeman who is a widower and father of two who returns to Austin, Texas to discover there is much work to be done, but even more work to be done at home.
- Lindsey Morgan as Micki Ramirez, Walker's new partner who is tough in nature and has lived in Texas her entire life.
- Keegan Allen as Liam Walker, smart and smug, Liam is Walker's younger brother who is gay and conservative. Liam is closer to Walker's children than he is, which often causes rifts between the two brothers. He has recently been promoted to Assistant District Attorney.
- Mitch Pileggi as Bonham Walker, Walker's father who is a tough, conservative family man.
- Molly Hagan as Abeline Walker, Walker's mother who is a third-generation Texas Ranger. She is a smart, knowledgeable, and supportive mother.
- Coby Bell as Captain Larry James, a trailblazer police officer with a gritty sense of humor.
- Jeff Pierre as Trey Barnett, Micki's warm boyfriend who has just returned from Army Deployment and is having troubles adjusting back to a normal life.
For additional cast and characters, see Season 1 (2021)#Cast and characters.
- Back in The Saddle
- Bobble Head
- Don't Fence Me In
- Bar None
- Fine is a Four Letter Word
- Rule Number 17
- A Tale of Two Families
On September 23, 2019, it was announced that a reboot was being developed of the popular series, with Supernatural album Jared Padalecki attached to star. The following month, it was announced that The CW had won the bidding war and would develop the series. In January 2020, The CW placed a straight to series order for the drama series. In May 2020, The CW announced that the series would now premiere on January 21, 2021, taking over Jared's previously held Thursday Night slot on the network. On February 3, 2021, The CW placed an early-season two renewal for the series, citing successful ratings. The CW also ordered five more episodes for the first season.
With the development announcement, it was confirmed that Jared Padalecki would star in the titular role. Lindsey Morgan was cast in the role of Micki on February 5, 2020, , while Keegan Allen joined the cast on February 19, 2020. Mitch Pillegi joined the cast in the main role of Walker's father on February 21, 2020. On February 27, 2020, Molly Hagan was cast in the main role of Walker's mother, Abeline Walker. The very next day, on February 28, 2020, Coby Bell was cast in a main role. On March 4, 2020, Jeff Pierre joined the main cast.
The series is filmed on location in Austin, Texas. Production of the pilot has been suspended following the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming began on October 27, 2020, and was originally scheduled to conclude on April 6, 2021, before Season 1 got an five episode additional order. It finished filming the first Season on June 19, 2021.
Changes from the Original
- Cordell's parents are both still alive. This differs from the original series, in which Cordell's parents were murdered and he was sent to live with his uncle, Ray Firewalker.
- Cordell had a wife named Emily, who is deceased prior to the start of the new series. In the original series, Walker married Alexandra Cahill toward the end of the series.
- Cordell Walker now has both a daughter, Stella Walker, and a son, August Walker. In the original continuity, he had one daughter, Angela Walker, who appeared only in the Trial by Fire movie and briefly as a newborn in the series finale.
- Micki Ramirez is the current partner of Cordell and one of the first females in Texas Rangers history. In the original series, Cordell's partner is a man named James Trivette.
- Martial arts does not play a major role in the series. Instead, Walker opts for a deeper look into Cordell's life, by telling stories regarding his family. It takes a more personal dive into the entire Walker family, as opposed to "good guy beats up bad guy".
Per the CW's official press release regarding the series premiere of Walker.
- The CW’s new drama WALKER scored the network’s largest audience for a new series premiere (2.43million) since the debut of DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW five years ago (1/21/2016). Additionally, WALKER earned the largest audience for any premiere on The CW since the fourth season debut of THE FLASH on 10/10/17.
- Last night’s WALKER debut saw The CW best total viewer delivery in the Thursday 8:00-9:00pm time period since just over four years (since 12/01/2016), and the single most watched episode of any show on the network since 1/30/18.
- WALKER saw its total audience grow at the 8:30pm half hour (2.444 million v. 2.417 million) and retained 100% of its viewership in key demos from 8:00pm to 8:30pm.
- Following the debut of WALKER, the third season premiere of LEGACIES rose to the show’s best total audience (717,000) in nearly a year (since 1/30/2020). The combination of Walker and Legacies lifted The CW to its most watched Thursday night (1.57million) in nearly 3 years.
Despite the overwhelming positive reception from viewers, critics held mixed reviews over the premise of the series and pacing of the episode.
- While the original series was produced by and starred Chuck Norris, Norris will have no involvement in the reboot.
- However, it is possible he will endorse the series.
- The original series was produced by production companies started by the creators. These companies will also have no part in the series.
- Furthermore, Columbia Pictures, who produced the original series, is not producing the reboot.
- Jared Padalecki originally wasn't planning on starring in the series. Instead, he planned to executive produce it while his former Supernatural co-star Jensen Ackles held the starring role of Cordell Walker. As the series came to fruition, Jared decided to sign on in the starring role as he wanted to be part of it. He plans to have Jensen featured on the show in some capacity in the future.
- Martial arts does not play a major role in the series. Instead, Walker opts for a more personal look into Cordell's life, by telling stories regarding his family. It takes a more personal dive into the entire Walker family, as opposed to "good guy beats up bad guy".
- Wikipedia: Walker, Texas Ranger
- Date Announcement - Twitter
- Deadline: The CW 2020-21 Schedule: New Season Launching In January, ‘Supernatural’ Conclusion & Acquisitions In Fall by Nellie Andreeva. May 14, 2020.
- Deadline: ‘Walker’: Genevieve Padalecki To Play Jared Padelecki’s Wife On the CW Series by Nellie Andreeva. September 14, 2020.