‘Walker’ Sets Dismantled Amid Delay In Season 5 Renewal Decision & Last-Ditch Effort To Save Show

Jared Padalecki’s Cordell Walker may be riding off into the proverbial sunset. Upfront week, during which the CW unveiled its fall 2024-25 schedule, came and went without decisions on the network’s legacy drama series, including flagships All American and Walker.

As a result, Walker has started breaking down the sets in Austin, TX. The crew was informed of the decision on Friday, a day after the CW schedule reveal, sources tell Deadline. The dismantling is already in full force, with crew members taking other jobs.

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While the move is not permanent — If a renewal ultimately comes, the sets can be put up, with producer CBS Studios saving money on stage rental in the interim — it illustrates how close to a cancellation Walker is.

There have been conversations between the CW and CBS Studios, something the network’s President of Entertainment Brad Schwartz confirmed on Thursday. However, “we didn’t feel any need to rush to meet some Upfront deadline,” he said about not making renewal decisions yet.

Under normal circumstances, a Season 5 renewal for Walker should be a no-brainer — it is the CW’s most watched series. Yet, a pickup — even if it comes — will also have to come at the right price for the show to come back. As Deadline reported last month, Walker cannot continue without a significant increase in its license fee, believed to be currently at $500k-$550k an episode, the lowest among the three remaining “old CW” dramas, which also include the All American duo, and a fraction of what an average broadcast drama costs to produce.

The target is to get the fee close to the $1M an episode mark, which would make it financially feasible for CBS Studios to continue making the Jared Padalecki drama.

I hear the CW brass are well aware what it would take to keep Walker for another season but have not given indications whether they would be able — and willing — to step up. In search of profitability while also spending heavily on sports, the CW has been cutting costs on the entertainment programming side, relying largely on low-cost acquisitions and co-production.

The complexity of the decision is likely why it’s taking longer for the CW executives to rule on Walker; the CW President Miller told Deadline on Thursday that the economics of scripted series on the CW likely won’t work without an SVOD or AVOD deal, something All American has.

The college drama also received an order for two additional episodes, keeping it in production longer, so the question about the sets has not come up yet. As Deadline reported, All American: Homecoming is far less likely to continue, also underscored by its summer run this season.

For the Walker cast and producers, the uncertainty and lack of guidance from the network has been a source of frustration as they watch the show’s sets going down and the crew getting disbanded.

The CW has until end of July, when the options on the actors expire, to make a decision. Walker’s next original episode airs Wednesday, May 22.

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