What Are the Chances of a Jensen Ackles CBS' Tracker Spinoff?

What Are the Chances of a Jensen Ackles CBS' Tracker Spinoff?
Image credit: CBS

Jensen Ackles has a knack for the enigmatic brother trope!


  • Tracker became the most popular show of the 2023-2024 season.
  • Fans were excited to see Jensen Ackles on it.
  • With the success of Tracker, CBS may create a spin-off with Russell Shaw.

What no one expected from CBS is a high level of self-confidence. On Sunday, February 11, immediately following the broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII, the network launched the pilot episode of its new crime series, Tracker. While high-profile post-event premieres are nothing new to television, few dare to try to keep the hype going in the immediate aftermath.

And yet, Tracker emerged as the biggest newcomer, becoming the most-watched scripted show on both the network and all of television for the 2023-2024 season. Ratings for the CBS freshman series broke all records with nearly 11 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. All this ensured a stable future for Tracker for years to come, and in March 2024, in parallel with the release of new episodes of the first season, the action drama was renewed for a second season.

And of course, one of the show's highlights was none other than Supernatural and The Boys star Jensen Ackles, who played the title character's brother. Given the incredible success of Tracker and the fact that CBS will surely want to cash in on the hit series, it's a logical question to ask: What are the chances of a spin-off based on Ackles' character being ordered?

Tracker's Phenomenal Popularity

From its premiere on February 11, 2024 to its first season finale on May 19, 2024, Tracker averaged about 8.3 million U.S. viewers, second only to the last two seasons of Yellowstone, the Paramount Network's incredibly popular neo-Western series. However, no one has ever achieved such success at launch.

The show's consistently high ratings are largely due to its quality. On Rotten Tomatoes, for example, the first season's critics score was a solid 88%.

Based on Jeffery Deaver's The Never Game, Tracker follows a lone-wolf survivalist named Colter Shaw, played by Justin Hartley. The title character travels across the United States in his old Airstream RV, rescuing ordinary people and helping the law with investigations thanks to his honed tracking skills. But Shaw is no selfless folk hero: he does not ask for a small financial reward for the work he does for a living.

But back to Jenson Ackles! In the penultimate episode of Season 1, Off the Books, Ackles was introduced as Colter's brother Russell Shaw. The protagonist's older brother was revealed in the pilot episode. For most of Colter's life, he believed Russell was responsible for their father's death. As it turns out, Russell is not a murderer, as the father had more than a few enemies in his life, and the mystery of the real killer's identity will clearly be solved in Season 2.

Russell Shaw Deserves His Own Spin-off

Given the popularity of Tracker and the fact that viewers were more than happy to have Ackles on the show, it would have been a huge disappointment for CBS not to capitalize on that by developing an interesting spin-off series.

Also, the introduction of the character in Episode 12 felt like a plug for a new series with the character, as the plot focused on him rather than Colter. And while there was a hint in the finale that Jensen Ackles' character will appear in Season 2, there is nothing stopping him from getting his own story.

A brother with a mysterious past and traumas hidden behind an easygoing demeanor — reminds you of someone, doesn't it? Considering the similarities between Ackles' new character and Dean Winchester, it seems like a no-brainer that fans of the actor would want to see him in a standalone series, as the actor did a great job in the role on Tracker.

In the meantime, you can stream the first season of Tracker on Paramount+.