Will Walker: Independence Return For Season 2 Amid CW Shakeups? Here's What We Know So Far
Does Walker: Independence have a future beyond its first season on The CW?
The first season of Walker: Independence comes to an end on March 2, and the final credits roll without confirmation one way or the other if a Season 2 is in store. The show had a recipe for success, as a spinoff of a show that had already run for multiple seasons and a star who was already a CW veteran in Kat McNamara. That said, the future is very uncertain for most CW shows in the wake of cancellations and shows ending. So, let's take a look at the factors in play for a renewal (or cancellation) for our best guess at the odds of Abby and Co. returning for Season 2!
Uncertainty At The CW
The past year hasn't been a great time for CW shows, with cancellation sprees that took out the remaining Arrowverse (with the exception of The Flash, which is ending soon anyway) before Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman had time to plan series finales. Legacies got the axe along with Charmed, Dynasty, Roswell, Naomi, 4400, and In The Dark, leading Legacies creator Julie Plec to dub the cancellations a "Red Wedding" at Warner Bros. TV and The CW. Sure, freshman series like The Winchesters, Gotham Knights, and of course Walker: Independence were still scheduled for the 2022-2023 TV season, but it's not a great time to be a CW show.
Plus, a cancellation bloodbath is said to be on the way due to parent company Nexstar wanting to cut down on pricy scripted series. When that report first made headlines back in January, it was expected that only three scripted shows would survive the end of the current TV season, and All American has already been renewed for Season 6. Even with Flash, Riverdale, and Nancy Drew already slated to end, there are still a lot of contenders for those reported two remaining slots: Walker, Superman & Lois, Kung Fu, All American: Homecoming, The Winchesters, Gotham Knights, and Walker: Independence.
So, are there truly just a couple of slots left for CW shows to make it to the 2023-2024 TV season? Is the Nexstar bloodbath on the way? And does Walker: Independence stand a chance? For some clues, let's look at what showrunner Seamus Kevin Fahey had to say!
What The Showrunner Says
Walker: Independence showrunner Seamus Kevin Fahey couldn't give a hard answer one way or the other about a Season 2 when he spoke with TVLine, but he did shed some light on where the show currently stands. Commenting on the "reinvention and restructuring," he shared that they're "waiting still for the dust to settle a little bit [to] figure out where we really stand." Promisingly, he also said that there's a "lot of fans at The CW" and they "have a lot of support at [CBS Studios]." Less promisingly, Fahey indicated that he's still hoping for rather than counting on a renewal. He said:
Seamus Kevin Fahey's mention of Easter eggs comes just a week after Jared Padalecki made a cameo in Independence, despite starring in Walker set more than a century later. (Given Jensen Ackles' appearances in The Winchesters despite the Supernatural timeline, I think it's fair game for Padalecki!) That seems like a good sign, but Independence remaining half of a great pairing with Walker depends on both shows being renewed, and there may only be two CW slots left. Fahey did say that "there's definitely a Plan B" and they're "hoping for the best, planning for the worst, and just honestly happy with what we’ve done."
What The Ratings Say
Hope for the future aside, it's worth looking at the ratings and viewership totals for Walker: Independence, especially in light of the fact that episodes are not available next-day on popular streaming services like Paramount+, Peacock, or Hulu. (The first two seasons of Walker are available via HBO Max subscription.) Episodes can be streamed after they air via the CW website, but that's far from a platform as large as Paramount+, Peacock, or Hulu. Plus, ratings still matter even in the era of streaming and cord-cutting in showing how many people tune in live on the night of new episodes and how many watch over the subsequent days.
And even though The CW will never rival the major networks in terms of ratings, the average numbers in the key 18-49 age demographic aren't very encouraging. Via SpoilerTV, the average Live+Same day rating (a.k.a. the totals for those who watched live night of) for Walker: Independence is 0.1. In Live+3 day totals, the rating stays at 0.1, and the number doesn't get any higher with Live+7. That suggests that there's not a sizable audience of fans who watch via delayed viewing. The viewership numbers tell less of a sad story. The average Live+Same audience is 0.502 million, which jumps up to 0.857 million in Live+3, and then up again to 0.972 million in Live+7.
According to those SpoilerTV numbers, no currently-airing CW show averages higher than an 0.1 in Live+Same ratings. Others do rise in delayed viewing, however, including The Winchesters, Walker, The Flash, All American, and All American: Homecoming.
On the whole, I'm not exactly optimistic that Walker: Independence has a future beyond Season 1. Although it has not been confirmed that only two CW shows will be renewed for the 2023-2024 season after All American earning the early renewal, the future looks pretty dark for Independence if that is the case. While Gotham Knights is still a variable since it hasn't premiered yet, I would put All American: Homecoming and Superman & Lois toward the top of the list of shows that could survive another season at The CW.
I'm guessing that Kung Fu is dead in the water, and would put The Winchesters as Independence's top competition for a Season 2 renewal. Again, a lot may depend on how well Gotham Knights does, and the cast is certainly singing the show's praises. Interestingly, Walker: Independence, The Winchesters, and Gotham Knights each feature a former Supernatural star in some capacity. Jared Padalecki is an executive producer of Independence, Jensen Ackles is an EP of The Winchesters, and Misha Collins plays Harvey Dent for Gotham Knights.
On the whole, there are more questions than answers about how many scripted shows still have a future at The CW under Nexstar, and whether there's appeal in shows that are part of a larger franchise. Independence has an advantage there, as it shares a universe with another current CW show, although the same can be said for All American and All American: Homecoming. Whether The Winchesters' ties to Supernatural are enough to work in its favor is hard to say. There are a lot of factors at play, and surely some of which are not publicly available yet, so we can only wait and see!
If you're in the market for some viewing options while waiting on the news of whether or not Walker: Independence will be renewed for Season 2, be sure to check out our 2023 TV premiere schedule!
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
By Mike Reyes