Brace yourselves, Walker, Texas Ranger fans: the series finale is now officially 20-years-old, having aired on this date in 2001.
A staple of 90s television, “Walker, Texas Ranger” catapulted Chuck Norris to household-name status, cementing him as an American icon. Beyond it, even. No other star has become the machismo mecca Norris is for pop culture. And it all started in 1993.
From that year on, audiences were all-in with Norris’ Sergeant Cordell Walker. Much of the character was crafted specifically for Norris, too: from his martial arts expertise to the stoic nature of his dialogue.
Through a hefty 193 episodes over the better part of a decade, Walker would punch his way into the hearts of millions. As fans will never forget, Walker and his partner Trivette – two Texas Rangers – made it their daily business to battle crime in Dallas and all around the Great State of Texas. What a synopsis for a show. No wonder its a classic!
The show was a critical and commercial success for CBS, as well. Much of this was achieved through authenticity, with the show shooting and casting near-entirely in the Lone Star State.
The End of an Era…
Though all good things must come to an end. The Walker, Texas Ranger series finale, titled “The Final Showdown: Part 2,” aired May 19, 2001, on parent network CBS. As of writing this article, this makes the show’s end a shocking 20-years-old. For those of us who grew up on the classic “modern Western,” this feels hard to believe.
Via IMDb, the synopsis for the series finale reads: “Lavocat continues with plans to kill the Rangers. As the Hayes Cooper story unfolds, Hayes fights an ancestor of Lavocat. In current day, the Rangers go after Lavocat. Trivette and Erika are engaged for marriage. Alex gives birth to a girl.”
Walker, Texas Ranger’ Finds New Life at The CW
Now, these same 20 years later, the titular Texas Ranger has new life on the CW courtesy of their reboot, Walker. Right off the bat, fans of the original love knowing the remake takes place in Texas. It’s a good thing, too, as Texas is the heart of Walker, Texas Ranger. Clearly!
Thankfully, the CW production team took a massive page from original producer Chuck Norris‘ book. The show is almost entirely shot in and around Austin, Texas.
The best part for “Walker” fans? The reboot’s star, Jared Padalecki – is a San Antonio, Texas native. Unlike Chuck Norris, he was born and raised in the state. Hard to imagine another Walker having a leg up on Norris – but so far, this takes the cake! Padalecki currently lives in Austin, as well.
Padalecki shared with local Austin news channel KXAN that keeping Texas as the heart of this incarnation is of paramount importance to the native. “I wanted to show that there are a lot of us who live here in the great state of Texas and call it home and have for our whole lives,” the star says.
Spoken like a true Texan. Our new Texas Ranger, simply titled Walker, airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW. Long live Cordell!