CBS announced on Monday that the hit action television show “Walker, Texas Ranger” will get a modern reboot and complete overhaul.
According to Deadline, “Supernatural” star and Texas native Jared Padalecki is set to both produce the show and take over the role of Cordell Walker from original star, acting legend Chuck Norris, who wore the Texas Ranger badge for nine seasons and starred in a television film after the show ended.
Anna Fricke, best known for executive producing the military drama “Valor,” will write and executive produce the remake along with Dan Lin (“Lethal Weapon” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”) and Dan Spilo (“Sunnyside”).
“Walker, Texas Ranger” was known for exploring themes of morality, family, justice, and faith. Deadline is reporting that those themes will all be facets of the new series with a focus on “rediscovering our lost common ground.”
Moving the action from its original city of Dallas to Austin, The Hollywood Reporter notes the plot will revolve around widower Cordell Walker returning home after some time undercover. He will receive a female partner and begin patrolling the streets of Texas’ capital city and possibly beyond. No word yet on who will play his partner or if other familiar characters will appear on the show.
CBS Studios has not decided on which network the series will land. Some have speculated that the series will join their flagship network beside other remakes such as “Hawaii Five-0” and “MacGyver.” However, it is also possible that “Walker” could land at the CW, where Padalecki has spent fifteen years on their long-running series “Supernatural,” along with his co-star Jensen Ackles. That series will end on its fifteenth season later this year, freeing up Padalecki for this new project.
“Walker, Texas Ranger” ran for eight seasons from 1993 to 2001 and starred Norris as the titular character, Clarence Gilyard as his partner James Trivette, Sheree J. Wilson as Assistant D.A. Alexandra “Alex” Cahill, and Noble Willingham as “semi-retired” Captain C.D. Parker. The last two seasons would add Nia Peeples and Judson Mills as fellow Rangers. The original show won several TV awards including Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Gilyard at the 2000 NAACP Image Awards.
“Walker” crossed over with fellow law enforcement action series “Martial Law” starring Sammo Hung and spun-off the short-lived private detective show “Sons of Thunder.” Its iconic theme song “Eyes of the Ranger,” composed by Tirk Wilder and performed by Norris, was introduced midway through the second season.
Four years after the show ended, a reunion television film, “Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire,” was produced by Paramount Network Television and aired in October 2005. Norris, Gilyard, Wilson, and Mills all reprised their roles. Though the film garnered high ratings, CBS ultimately passed on doing further projects.
In February 2018, Chuck Norris’ film company Top Kick Productions filed a lawsuit against CBS Productions in Los Angeles for over thirty million dollars in unpaid royalties over “Walker, Texas Ranger.” According to Fox Business, the suit was forced into arbitration and its verdict is yet undecided.
Norris currently hosts “Chuck Norris’s Epic Guide to Military Vehicles” on the History Channel.