From 1993 to 2001, CBS has been the home of an action TV series that has become an epic fountain of memes. How could it not when it starred legendary action star Chuck Norris? “Walker, Texas Ranger” gave audiences eight seasons of awesome law enforcement highlighted by fight scenes ranging from cool to ridiculous; the roundhouse kicks of Norris’ Cordell Walker character would in hindsight elicit just as much laughs as excited whoops. Now, close to two decades after “Walker, Texas Ranger” ended, The CW is trying its hand at a Norris-less reboot of it. And they have gotten an alumnus from ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” in their cast.
Variety tells us that The CW’s reboot of “Walker, Texas Ranger” has gotten Jeff Pierre as part of the cast along with its lead star, Jared “Sam Winchester” Padalecki. It appears the network is keen on keeping him on with their productions even after his show “Supernatural” with Jensen Ackles is concluding this coming May after 15 seasons. As for Pierre, he will be playing Trey Barnett, a new character absent from the CBS original who is the boyfriend of Cordell Walker’s female partner in the Rangers, Micki (Lindsey Morgan).
Already The CW is going all in on reimagining the original series that Chuck Norris starred in. For starters, the title is merely “Walker,” and here Cordell as portrayed by Padalecki still has his father, played by Mitch Pileggi (Asst. Director Skinner on “The X-Files”). Where Norris-Walker was a Vietnam War veteran before entering the Texas Rangers, Padalecki-Walker seems to have been a Ranger from the start, and the story begins with him ending a two-year-long undercover assignment with him being reassigned to Austin (rather than Dallas-Fort Worth). Reboot Walker is also a widower with two children, and his driving character is to “fight for what’s right following their own moral code, regardless of rules.”
Where the CBS “Walker, Texas Ranger” was created by Albert S. Ruddy & Leslie Greif, The CW’s “Walker” has Jared Palecki himself co-executive producing the reboot with Anna Fricke, Dan Lin and Lindsey Liberatore, for CBS Television Studios. An overarching narrative for the show is Cordell Walker trying to reconnect with what is left of his family after being away for so long, while his partner faces the challenges of being one of the few female Texas Rangers. “Walker” does not yet have a premiere date, though it was ordered straight to series last January.
Image from Just Jared Jr.