Walker: Independence was canceled at The CW.
The CW has canceled Walker: Independence after just one season. The news comes as the network moves toward a profitability-based business model which includes low-cost scripted programming. Flagship series Walker has been renewed for a fourth season, while several other shows are expected to be axed from the line-up this week.
According to Deadline, Walker starring Jared Padalecki is the most-watched series on The CW. But its prequel spin-off, Walker: Independence, only managed mediocre viewership ratings. The only other show with a confirmed renewal is the popular sports drama All American, which was picked up for a sixth season. The Flash, Nancy Drew, Riverdale, and DC’s Stargirl are in their final seasons.
Walker: Independence was developed for The CW by Anna Fricke. Set in the 1800s, the story follows an affluent Bostonian named Abby Walker, who witnesses her husband’s murder on a journey out West. She eventually crosses paths with a loveable rogue named Hoyt Rawlins, and the pair travel to Independence, Texas, where they meet a diverse group of citizens.
Katherine McNamara led the Walker: Independence cast as Abby Walker, an ancestor of Padalecki’s Cordell Walker, alongside Matt Barr as Hoyt Rawlins, Katie Findlay as Kate, and Justin Johnson Cortez as a tracker named Calian. Greg Hovanessian, Philemon Chambers, Lawrence Kao, and Gabriela Quezada also starred in the now-defunct series.
Although Walker: Independence won’t get to conclude its story, 13 new episodes of the flagship series will be coming soon. Speaking about the renewal, President of Entertainment at The CW Brad Schwartz gushed about the show’s success as it’s been the top-performing series on the network throughout its three-season run. “We cannot wait to have Walker back on the schedule,” he said in a press release.
Schwartz also credited Walker’s passionate fan base, the fantastic cast, and the creative team led by Jared Padalecki with the show’s success. The series premiered on The CW in January 2021 as a reboot of the 1990s western drama television series Walker, Texas Ranger. The story follows Cordell Walker, a widower, and father of two with his own moral code, who returns home after two years.
Although it has a solid following, Walker: Independence‘s flagship Walker received mixed reviews, with some critics praising its potential for timely storytelling. Others have criticized it as a generic family drama. The show currently holds a 33 percent critics score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes alongside an 82 percent audience score. The site’s general consensus says despite decent performances from the cast, its bland storytelling and limited action fail to fill its namesake’s boots.
Interestingly, Walker: Independence holds an approval rating of 71 percent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. As such, the cancellation of a television series can be a disappointing and frustrating experience for everyone. For the creators, it can be difficult to come to terms with the abrupt end of their work, especially if they had planned for the show to have a longer run.
While some canceled shows may eventually find new life on another network or streaming platform, many are left to fade away into obscurity. It remains to be seen if Walker: Independence will find a new home on a different network.