Jared Padalecki Says The CW Is Only Producing ‘Easy, Cheap Content’

Jared Padalecki doesn’t need a crystal ball to see where The CW is heading.

The actor, who has been part of the network for more than 20 years across “Supernatural,” “Gilmore Girls,” and the newly-canceled “Walker,” reflected on his tenure at The CW. Padalecki is clearly a veteran of the network, which was then known as The WB when he joined before it was rebranded as The CW in 2006.

“I thought ‘Walker’ was kind of a mixture of ‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Supernatural.’ It was a family show with excitement and stunts, and macro storylines married with the micro,” Padalecki told Variety.

Yet that tentpole kind of storytelling is no longer what The CW wants to greenlight, according to the actor/producer.

“I talked with the head of CBS [Studios] and the head of Nexstar/CW, I talked with the other [executive producers] on ‘Walker,’ and I think it was a multivariate kind of issue,” he said of the series cancelation. “My understanding is — and again, this is just what I’m told — that Nexstar is going in a different direction with The CW. I mean, they have an hour of ‘Trivial Pursuit’ and an hour of ‘Scrabble’ coming up. I don’t know why you wouldn’t just download the app or grab a board game and play with your friends, but they’re clearly just — what’s that great quote? It’s like, ‘If somebody tells you who they are, ask questions. If somebody shows you who they are, believe them.’ I feel like The CW that I was a part of last year is not The CW that I was a part of under [former chairman and CEO] Mark Pedowitz for that entire, almost 20-year stretch.”

Padalecki continued, “They’re just changing the network around, where it’s not really going to be a TV network as much as it’s going to be, ‘Here’s something fun for an hour that you’ll never watch again, but hopefully you watch it. And it’s cheap!’ And I hate to say that, but I’m just being honest. I mean, fuck it. They can’t fire me again. I’m just being brutally honest. I think it felt to me like they were looking for really easy, cheap content that they could fill up time with.”

New CW Entertainment president Brad Schwartz was appointed in 2022, and told IndieWire at the time that his goal was to make the network profitable by 2025. That in turn means cutting production costs, hence the much cheaper game shows Padalecki cited. That also means fewer scripted series, like “Walker.”

The CW executives did, however, let Padalecki announce the “Walker” cancelation on his own terms. Padalecki is, of course, considered “CW royalty.”

“I talked to David Stapf at CBS [Studios] and Brad Schwartz at CW before the announcement was made,” Padalecki said. “And when Brad and I were talking, he was wildly flattering of ‘Walker’ and what we had done, and he has his directives as well. He asked me, ‘Hey, how would you feel if we release the news or if you release the news? Do you have a preference? You’re CW royalty. You’ve been here since Day 1. How do you want to do this?’ I thought about it, and I was like, ‘You know what, man? I think it might be best if I go ahead and make the announcement.’ He was like, ‘Cool. Just go ahead.’ And I asked him, ‘Do you want me to send what I’m going to post to you first, or do you want me to just go and post it?’ And he goes, ‘We know you. We love you. We trust you. You don’t need to double check it with me. Just go ahead and send it when you’re ready.’”

The actor recalled crying while formulating his social media post to share the news.

“It was not easy to see the keyboard on my phone through the tears in my eyes, but I was grateful that I was allowed to [do that],” he said. “So often, when these big announcements are made, it’s like, ‘OK, here’s what’s going to happen. Don’t say anything until 1 p.m. in three days because we haven’t called all the outlets yet.’ It felt like a very human send-off to go, ‘OK, do what you need to say, and we will reiterate it.’ It felt like a great part of the closure that I’m still seeking.”

Now, Padalecki is firmly parting ways with The CW and is in talks to join Prime Video’s “The Boys,” which would reunite him with fellow CW alums, “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke and Padalecki’s longtime co-star Jensen Ackles.

“It’s not been written yet, but I think he was saying [‘The Boys’ final season] doesn’t even film until 2025. So yeah, I’m going to go play in Kripke’s newest playground,” Padalecki confirmed. “I had a great time the first time around, so I’m sure I’ll have a great time here again. I love the show. I think it’s hilarious and exciting. But you were asking what my plans for the future were — and I love Jensen [Ackles] and Eric Kripke. Obviously, I’ll be indebted to [Kripke] and entangled with him forever. I met my wife because of him. I was Sam Winchester because of him. ‘Supernatural’ happened because of him. So working with him on a show that I enjoy, I’m like, ‘Yeah, when do I fly out?’ But I don’t think we would film until at least January.”

SOURCE: Indie Wire

About Michael Zotos 484 Articles
Founder and owner of Performer.com/Performer Media LLC, a multimedia content creator for a variety of national plus local print & electronic media affiliates.