What a comeback: Texas Native Jared Padalecki is set for a strong tenure as the new Walker, Texas Ranger if the reboot’s premiere numbers are any indication.
Courtesy of the latest TV show ratings, Western fans have cause to celebrate. The CW’s new foray into the format, Walker, is showing massive debut numbers. A whopping 2.43 million total viewers gave the Texas Ranger reboot a go.
As a result, it’s CW timeslot saw the largest audience it’s had in over four years. The previous record was set by superhero drama, Legends of Tomorrow, in December of 2016.
Walker‘s bombastic premiere ratings also led the network to its highest Thursday ratings in three years (since 2018). This makes Padalecki’s Walker reboot the most-watched telecast for CW since their previous record holder: a January 2018 episode of The Flash.
In total, Walker‘s premiere now holds the most viewers for any CW premiere since The Flash Season 4 in Oct. 2017, according to TVLine. The trade also notes that readers are giving Walker “an average grade of “B” with 81 percent planning to stay tuned in.”
Meet the New Walker Texas Ranger
Inevitably, the new Walker is set to endure endless comparisons to the original Texas Ranger: living legend Chuck Norris. Especially if the show proves a true hit.
For his part, though, Jared Padalecki is hoping fans of the old come onboard this new rendition with a fresh outlook. Speaking to fellow CW alum Michal Rosenbaum on his Inside of You podcast, Padalecki is quick to note that his Walker is, in fact, an entirely new character.
“My Walker has zero to do with Chuck’s Walker,” he starts off. “I grew up in Texas and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ was obviously a massive show. I watched it but this is a brand new character, brand new story, and brand new era. Just a similar name. Cordell’s the new Walker, Texas Ranger, nothing to do with Chuck.”
This may prove confusing for fans, however. Both Norris’ original ranger and Padalecki’s share the iconic Cordell Walker name.
Chuck Norris had to “Give His Blessing” for Reboot
Regardless, Padalecki is looking to bring plenty of authenticity to his tenure as Cordell Walker. The actor is, after all, a Texas native himself. Chuck Norris, on the other hand, is an Oklahoman.
For any fans sharing concern over the new kid on the block, though: rest easy. Padalecki says he has indeed received Norris’ blessing. Though he hasn’t spoken to him directly…
“I guess our people have talked, whatever that means,” he tells Rosenbaum. “He had to give his blessing because he still co-owned the rights to the story, the product. So he was part of the EP [executive producer] group and he had some ownership in ‘Walker, Texas Ranger.’ So we had to get his blessing to create a new version of it. I know we have his blessing but I don’t know what his involvement will or won’t be.”
Here’s to hoping Norris is more involved than Padalecki knows. And a cameo. Definitely going to need a Chuck Norris cameo. After all, it’s not Walker Texas Ranger without him.