The more things change, the more they stay the same. In a quest to try to hang on to relevancy in the shifting television landscape, The CW is continuing to cling to the vestiges of days gone by to keep their viewership. If that sounds a bit cynical, maybe it is, but at the same time, no one can look at The CW line-up and accuse them of originality. In the latest announcement to their potential broadcast schedule, the network has announced three new pilots, all linked to existing or former programming.
The first of the three programs is a spin-off prequel to the former The CW stalwart, “Supernatural.” The longest running The CW show dating back to the days of the WB network, the program finished its run in November of 2020. A “Supernatural” prequel, “The Winchesters.” The series will be narrated by Jensen Ackles reprising the role of Dean Winchester and telling the story of his parents, John and Mary.
Speaking of “Supernatural,” the other main series alum Jared Padalecki is currently starring in the network’s reboot of “Walker: Texas Ranger,” simply titled, “Walker.” The show was renewed for a second season, which premiered in October of 2021 and has apparently performed strongly enough to greenlight a period-piece sequel entitled, “Walker: Independence.”
“Walker: Independence” features the character of Abby Walker on a quest for vengeance after her husband is murdered. In that regard, at least you can say that the series is trying something different than the original and the reboot. Putting the series in the waning days of the wild west with a female protagonist is certainly a change of pace. Doubling down on the Walker franchise feels like putting a bit too much emphasis on a genre with limited appeal, but who knows?
Finally we have “Gotham Knights,” which is apparently not connected to the upcoming video game of the same name. That being said, there is a similar story between them. The game takes place following the murder of Bruce Wayne. In his passing, and the subsequent loss of Batman, the structure of power between good and evil has fluctuated. Now, it’s up to members of the “Bat-Family” so to say, to pick things up from where Batman left off. The CW’s show meanwhile also follows the murder of Bruce Wayne, except this time his son (maybe Damian?) has to team up with the offspring of Batman’s rogues gallery to discover Bruce’s real killer.
Is there any reason to think that any of these projects will turn out poorly? No, but at the same time it’s regurgitating the same type of material time and again. “Supernatural” ended? Fine, we’ll make another show in the same universe. “Walker” was good enough for a second season? Fine, we’ll order more “Walker” stuff! People like Batman?! MORE BATMAN STUFF!!!
Perhaps the more positive spin on this is saying The CW knows their audience, and wants to cater to it. But considering network is potentially up for sale, maybe now would be a good time to try and mix things up a bit to show some signs of profitability.