Jared Padalecki's days as a TV star may be over with Walker's cancellation

Walker -- "We've Been Here Before" -- Image Number: WLK405fg_0007r -- Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker -- Credit: The CW -- Copyright: © 2024 The CW Network. LLC, All Rights Reserved
Walker -- "We've Been Here Before" -- Image Number: WLK405fg_0007r -- Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker -- Credit: The CW -- Copyright: © 2024 The CW Network. LLC, All Rights Reserved /

For the first time in 24 years, Jared Padalecki is going to be out of work. The TV actor, who was introduced to WB viewers through Gilmore Girls and then had a career defining 15 season run on Supernatural, continued to win the hearts of TV lovers in the CW drama Walker. But the reboot of the hit Walker, Texas Ranger series was canceled this year despite being the most watched scripted program on the network.

This has left Padalecki in a position he's never been in before--not having an answer for "what's next?" With the career that the actor has had, playing multiple characters that have gone down in TV history, he could walk away now secure in the legacy he's created. In an interview with TVLine, he expressed that he's tired as he's been on this road since he was 17 years old.

"...I haven’t really had time to fully grasp it. But yes, I’m tired. I’m tired. I’m grateful. Like, I’m not digging ditches. I’m not doing Red Cross work and saving human beings. But yeah, I’m pretty tired. I’m a little disillusioned about the state of the industry that I’ve loved and been employed with for 24 years. So I have a lot of thinking to do, and I have a lot of time to be with my wife and our kids, my friends, and think about where this industry is."

A factor Padalecki cited as a reason for his potential departure from TV is the length of the medium. Hour long episodic television is hard to make. These days, it's also not being made in either Los Angeles or New York. Many productions have moved to Vancouver with actors and their families often separated for months or having to make the decision to spend a good portion of the year outside of the States. Actors have stated how isolating that can be and it has led to cast exits.

The length he was referring to was in reference to how long show's can last as well. While it's believed that we are no longer in a TV era that can accommodate 10+ season runs, the goal is still to have long running programs that return yearly, at least on broadcast, the arena where Padalecki cut his teeth. But he hasn't ruled out making guest appearances.

"If a job on a TV show comes up, like I’ve talked to Kripke about The Boys stuff, like, “Yeah, I’ll come play with you for a month. Yeah, I’ll come play with you for two months, for six weeks, or whatever,” or, “Yeah, I’ll come pop in a week out of every month for the next three months.”"

If the actor is going to be a leading man on television again, however, it'll be on his own terms. With a classic TV contract being six years, as he pointed out, he only sees himself signing on if "it was in Austin, and I was the executive producer that could be involved in knowing the show and making sure the cast and crew all did it in as efficient a way as possible."

So, essentially, it would have to be a project like Walker. Padalecki spoke extensively about his desire to be there for his wife and the big milestones in their kids' lives. As such, Cordell Walker is likely the last role he'll have on The CW. Even prior to Nexstar becoming the majority owner of the network, CW productions primarily filmed in Vancouver. With the network's emphasis on international co-productions to stave off costs, it's likely few shows will film stateside moving forward.

This is the end of an era for Padalecki but perhaps the beginning of an opportunity depending on the direction he decides to take once he has time to reflect. Stay tuned to Hidden Remote more news and coverage.