Well, it was a short walk, but certainly one to remember. Walker: Independence has been canceled after one season at The CW. The breaking news comes from a Variety report. This news comes as Walker, the series for which Independence serves as a prequel, has just been renewed for its fourth season on the network.
Walker: Independence was set in the late 1800s and followed Abby Walker, played by Katherine McNamara, a wealthy and hard-headed Bostonian whose husband is murdered right before her eyes on their way out West. After she finds herself in the town of Independence, Texas, she finds herself surrounded by a group of diverse and eclectic residents, all with pasts just as checkered as her own. Among the characters highlighted in the season is Calian, played by Justin Johnson Cortez, an Apache tracker.
The decision to cancel Walker: Independence is a seemingly incongruous one, considering the overwhelming success of the ever-expanding Western Yellowstone franchise. Walker: Independence builds a similar style of inter-world development for its parent series, Walker, while indulging the aesthetics of the Western genre, which has seen unexpected success in recent years. However, it seems that The CW is heading in the opposite direction.
The CW Moving Towards Reality
Last year, the network was acquired by Nexstar Media Group. Nexstar is moving the network away from scripted series and towards less costly reality programming. Recently, The CW acquired the HBO Max discarded reality series FBoy Island, and is also ordering a spinoff series called FGirl Island. The move towards unscripted content might be serendipitous for the network, considering the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. During the last major strike, in 2007, there was a major shift toward unscripted content in television. However, this came at the expense of many beloved series, such as Pushing Daisies. And though the cancelation of Walker: Independence does not seem to be directly related to the ongoing strike, it draws a clear line to the underlying values of media companies going forward, which values cost control over the well-being of a core sector of the entertainment industry.
On the other hand, Walker was renewed for a fourth season today. The series stars Jared Padalecki as Walker, the Texas Ranger previously portrayed by Chuck Norris in the iconic 1990s series. CBS Studios produced Walker: Independence. There are still several scripted series still hanging in the balance at The CW, including Superman & Lois and Gotham Knights.