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Walker: Independence is no more.
The CW has opted to cancel the prequel to the network’s Walker reboot after a single season. The series starring Katherine McNamara was the last of The CW’s bubble shows from CBS Studios. The news comes mere minutes after the Jared Padalecki-led Walker was renewed for an abbreviated 13-episode fourth season at the Nexstar-controlled CW.
Walker: Independence debuted in October as a midseason bow after station group Nexstar took control of The CW. The 1800s-set series wrapped its 13-episode run in early March with a mere 440,000 live same-day viewers, a stat that is increasingly important to Nexstar as it looks to make The CW profitable.
Anna Fricke served as showrunner on the prequel series and will continue in that role on the flagship series for the 2023-24 broadcast season. While Walker ranks as The CW’s most-watched linear series, the spinoff failed to deliver similar results.
Sources say The CW may slot two U.S. originals in the fall, both with 13-episode orders, and replace them come midseason with two more U.S. originals. The CW still has yet to make decisions on the future of All American: Homecoming, Kung Fu, Superman & Lois and rookies Gotham Knights and Supernatural prequel The Winchesters, all of which are produced by Warner Bros. Television. All are considered on the bubble, with The Flash, Nancy Drew and Riverdale currently airing their final seasons.
With Nexstar at the helm, CW entertainment president Brad Schwartz — who previously ran Pop TV and is credited with bringing Schitt’s Creek to U.S. audiences — has focused on adding low-cost foreign originals and reality series to fill the slots of the scripted fare that currently populated the network built by former CEO Mark Pedowitz. Pedowitz was among the execs who were pushed out late last year after Nexstar formally took control of The CW. Pedowitz and his team had spent years building up The CW’s roster of U.S. originals in a bid to expand year-round programming to seven nights a week. The CW, under Nexstar, did not develop a single scripted pilot this season in a sign of Nexstar’s larger plans for the genre.
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