A Cancellation Bloodbath Is Coming To The CW And That Could Mean Bad News For Shows Like Walker And The Winchesters

It’s been a brutal season of shows unexpectedly ending for both broadcast and streaming television -- I mean just look at all the cancellations from 2022. As the 2023 TV schedule progresses, the axe is potentially hanging over quite a few series, with the CW having the potential for theoretical bloodshed. This is thanks to the fact that only three scripted series are supposedly going to survive in the near future, and we know All American is one of them, which means both Walker and The Winchesters are candidates that could be in the cancellation crosshairs.

Through the reporting of THR, the strategy of parent company Nexstar in regard to the CW has been further fleshed out. Apparently, younger-skewing “scripted fare” is out, and something “a bit broader” is in. Part of that transformation, besides a potential deal to broadcast the LIV Golf League on weekends, is a lot of pruning when it comes to existing scripted shows.

While it's unknown which projects are being seriously considered for oblivion, there are two series that seems to be safe. The hit drama All American, which is currently airing its fifth season, was already renewed for its sixth round and has been named as safe in this report. Also, per the news coming out of James Gunn and Peter Safran's big DC Films and TV announcements, Superman and Lois is also earmarked to continue for "one or two more seasons."

That leaves only one slot on this metaphorical Noah’s Ark, which could be bad news for at least one of these shows previously mentioned. In the case of Walker, the likelihood that the plug will be pulled might seem a little greater. With both the current season of the Jared Padalecki-led reboot of Walker: Texas Ranger and its spinoff Walker: Independence on the channel, I think it feels like an easy decision to slash both series from the books at once. It seems like it would make sense for the CW to cancel both shows rather than keep them, to free up space in their lineup for three different series.

Jared Padalecki on Walker on The CW

(Image credit: The CW)

However, the Supernatural prequel The Winchesters isn’t exactly pulling the numbers you’d expect from a project of that pedigree. Even with a recent appearance by Jensen Ackles' Dean Winchester himself, ratings haven’t quite kept pace with Walker’s better days. So there’s a chance that the tea leaves could spell the end of the road, especially when the first season of The Winchesters is roughly on pace, if not slightly above, what Walker and its spin-off are reporting. 

Of course, there’s another nuclear option that might be executed, which aligns with the CW’s former parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. Though Clark Kent's family adventures are safe at this moment, there's still two other DC series that remain from the network's previous strategy: The Flash and Gotham Knights making up that wing of the lineup. 

The Scarlet Speedster is no concern, as Barry Allen’s ninth season is his last, which leaves the untested Gotham Knights, currently still awaiting its March 2023 premiere. Though it may not totally fall under the purview of Warner Bros. Discovery, with this many cancellations on the way, there’s a chance it could be shelved as a Batgirl-style write-off, or even canceled before Season 1 starts to air. 

Just two years ago, the CW had a renewal spree marking 11 scripted series on the horizon. Under new management and with a bold strategy set to reinvent this network to stay competitive, anything could happen when only three projects can survive. 

As legacy series like Riverdale, crazy plot twists and all, are also eyeing the exits in a timely fashion, there’s a chance that Walker, The Winchesters, or even Gotham Knights won’t have to worry. Although, it's clear there are many shows that won't make it out of CW's cancellation spree, and there is a lot up in the air when it comes to what they'll renew.

Optimism still doesn’t change the fact that there are one slot remaining on the CW’s cancellation ark, and the clock is ticking. For the moment, you can catch new episodes of The Winchesters on Tuesdays at 9 P.M. ET, while Walker is airing Thursdays at 8 P.M. ET, both on the CW.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.