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What We Know About The Walker, Texas Ranger Reboot

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you — there's a Walker, Texas Ranger reboot on the way! We've actually got a surprising number of details about the show so far, despite the fact that we don't have a concrete release date yet. With the entertainment industry's schedules thrown into disarray this year, it's hard to say when we'll see the ranger's return, but it's coming.

If you're looking for the nitty gritty on Walker (as the reboot is called), you've come to the right place. We're here to keep you up to date on everything you need to know. Where can you watch it? What's the plot? Most importantly, how many bad guys is Chuck Norris going to kick in the face? (Spoiler alert: the answer to that last question is, sadly, not many.)

The Walker, Texas Ranger reboot is not some bizarre "Conan O'Brien's lever got stuck" type thing — it's the real deal and headed our way soon. Here's what we know so far about Walker.

When and where can I watch the Walker reboot?

Several networks were reportedly in the running to become the home of Walker, but the CW emerged as the winner. Deadline reports that the CW reached a deal to develop and air the reboot of the CBS show. Network president Mark Pedowitz made an aggressive campaign for the show, due to upcoming gaps at the network and the talent involved with Walker.

We don't have an official premiere date yet for Walker, but it was originally expected to air its first episode before the end of 2020. The shutdown of many productions due to the coronavirus pandemic could throw a wrench in that, however — for all we know, it may not kick its way onto our screens until 2021 at this point.

Deadline theorizes that the CW has big plans for Walker and that it is a leading contender for the network's biggest series with Supernatural finally closing its doors. They also noted the network's predilection for recent reboots, with Charmed, Dynasty, and Roswell all finding success there in the last few years.

Is Walker a sequel, a reboot, or a whole new story?

As of right now, we have no reason to believe that the CW's version of Walker is tied to the original series beyond the title and concept. It looks like a total reboot, meaning we shouldn't expect to see many references to Chuck Norris' Cordell Walker.

Of course, the main character has the same name, and the series' official description is as follows: "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."

Walker and his partner will also be "following their own moral code to fight for what's right, regardless of the rules." Sounds an awful lot like the original Walker, Texas Ranger to us. With a new network and two decades having passed since the end of the original show, the style and tone will certainly change, even if the substance remains familiar.

Who stars in the Walker reboot?

So, we're going to be revisiting the story of Cordell Walker, but we obviously can't have Chuck Norris running around in the title role. We know Chuck is invincible, but the man is over 80 years old. So, who's going to be donning the spurs in Walker's title role? None other than a mainstay of the CW: Jared Padalecki.

That's right — even with Supernatural coming to an end, Padalecki is still going to be one of the faces of the CW. The network has never even existed without him, as his time on both that show and Gilmore Girls goes back to the days when it was the WB.

According to the official synopsis, Padalecki's Cordell Walker will "attempt to reconnect with his children, navigate clashes with his conservative family, and find unexpected common ground with his new partner (one of the first women in Texas Rangers' history), while growing increasingly suspicious about the circumstances surrounding his wife's death." Lots to unpack there for the CW's favorite son.

Walker has a female partner

Walker won't be flying solo as he takes on all the baddies in Austin — we know he'll be kicking ass with a partner. We also know that this partner will be relatively unique in the world of the Texas Rangers, as she'll be one of the first women admitted to the law enforcement agency.

Her name is Micki, and she's described as "focused and perceptive, her family has been in Texas since before it was Texas. She's been in the Army and on the police force and knows first-hand what it's like to be singled out and discriminated against because of her gender." Micki will be played by Lindsey Morgan, another veteran of the CW. Morgan is known as Raven Reyes on The 100, which is also ending its run with its 2020 season.

If you're a fan of current fare on the CW, don't fret! With Padalecki and Morgan partnering up on Walker, it's like all your crossover fanfiction is finally coming to life!

Who's in the supporting cast of the Walker reboot?

Though Padalecki and Morgan are going to be the big draw as the leads of the Walker reboot, a few familiar faces have already signed on to back them up.

Cordell Walker will have a younger brother on the show named Liam. Liam was just promoted to District Attorney, he has a close relationship with Walker's kids, and he's described as "gay and conservative." Liam is played by Keegan Allen, best known as Toby on Pretty Little Liars.

We also know who will play Liam and Cordell's parents: Molly Hagan and Mitch Pileggi. Hagan has appeared in several movies, like Sully and Election, but is best known for her television work. You might recognize her from shows like iZombie, Jane the Virgin, Unfabulous, and many others. Pileggi has also been in a ton of stuff, but is probably best known as Walter Skinner on The X-Files.

Two other actors have been officially confirmed as well, though the size of their role is unknown. Jeff Pierre (War Dogs, Shameless) will play Trey Barnett, and Coby Bell (Burn Notice, The Gifted) will play Captain Larry James.

Who is the showrunner for the Walker reboot?

The original Walker, Texas Ranger was created by Christopher Canaan, Leslie Greif, Paul Haggis, and Al Ruddy. As far as we know, none of those creators are directly tied to Walker. Instead, the reboot is the creation of Anna Fricke, who will serve as the showrunner.

Fricke has had her hands on a few other fan favorite genre properties over the last few decades. She has worked across several networks as a producer on shows like Being Human, Men in Trees, Wayward Pines, and Minority Report. She also has some experience with the CW (if you go back to its days as the WB, that is), as her first television production work was on the show Everwood.

Fricke is credited as the show's creator and executive producer, but star Jared Padalecki also has a hand on the wheel. Both Padalecki and Fricke are also Texas natives, so they should be right at home.

Walker will feature an overarching mystery

The original Walker, Texas Ranger is often cited as a moralistic throwback, with most of its episodes telling a singular, contained story over its runtime. In 1994, television critic Doug Nye called it "the closest thing these days to an old-time Western." Television has changed an awful lot in the decades since — while Walker will still deal with the morality of the title character and his role in law enforcement, it will probably also feature longer mysteries that play out over entire seasons of the show.

One such element is revealed in the show's official description, as we will see Walker "growing increasingly suspicious of his wife's death." It sounds like this will be a driving force for Walker early on, and will probably cause him to question some of the people and institutions that he trusts. There's no indication of when (or even if) Walker will truly solve the mystery of what happened to his wife, but it sounds like it will be a major plot point of the rebooted series.

Is Chuck Norris involved with the Walker: Texas Ranger reboot?

No conversation about Walker, Texas Ranger would be complete without a discussion of the barbate elephant in the room: Chuck Norris. For those who viewed the original show as more of a curiosity than must-watch television, the first question on their mind regarding the reboot is probably "Is Chuck Norris in it?"

As of right now, it appears that Norris is not involved at all.

There are a few reasons it makes sense to leave Norris on the sidelines for Walker. For one, the man turned 80 years old in 2020. It's doubtful he's going to be running alongside Padelecki and busting up baddies. Showrunner Anna Fricke probably also wants to avoid some of the campier comparisons that might be made to the original.

That said, Norris still has some pretty impressive recognition, and his role on the original Walker, Texas Ranger is iconic. Any fan will definitely want to see at least a nod to Norris on the Walker reboot — we just may need to wait awhile to see if it happens.