Tracker: Jensen Ackles Cast as Colter’s Brother Russell — Get Airdate and Storyline Scoop

Colter Shaw’s family tree is now complete.

CBS’ Tracker has enlisted Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, The Boys) to play Colter’s estranged brother Russell. The casting was first confirmed by Colter himself, Justin Hartley, who shared a video with his new TV brother on Instagram Thursday.

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TVLine can now confirm that Ackles will guest-star on Sunday, May 12 (CBS, 9/8c), in Season 1’s penultimate episode, “Off the Books.” The official synopsis for the hour reads as follows:

Colter is forced to team up with his estranged brother, Russell, who enlists his help to track down a former army buddy who’s gone missing after several weeks of paranoid behavior. The investigation takes the brothers into the world of Special Forces missions, shady off-the-books programs and conspiracy theories, all while they contend with their family’s past.


News of Ackles’ casting comes two weeks after Hartley shared that Manifest’s Melissa Roxburgh has been cast as Colter and Russell’s younger sister, Dory. She’ll make her debut in Episode 11, airing Sunday, May 5.

Tracker’s Feb. 11 premiere introduced This Is Us vet Hartley as Colter Shaw, a lone-wolf survivalist who roams the country and uses his expert tracking skills to help private citizens and law enforcement solve all manner of mysteries… all while contending with his own fractured family.

That’s where things got interesting.

Flashbacks revealed that Colter and his siblings — which include an older brother, Russell, and a younger sister, Dory — had an unusual upbringing. Their parents, Ashton and Mary (played by Oz’s Lee Tergesen and Good Sam’s Wendy Crewson), “were professors at Berkeley until there was this incident with my dad,” Colter explained. “So, he took us to live off the grid at this cabin. It was a compound, actually, by Sierra National Forest,” where Ashton “started to talk about these people that were out to get him and how we all had to be prepared. He taught us how to track, how to hunt, and he taught us to free climb at this place called Devil’s Notch.”

One night in 2003, when Mary wasn’t home, Ashton’s paranoia got the best of him and he made a run for it, leaving his three children behind. Russell went after him, and an hour later, Colter found his father, dead, at the bottom of Devil’s Notch. It appeared as though he’d been pushed by Russell.

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In the present day, Russell has attempted to make contact with Colter. There’s supposedly something Colter “needs to know.” However, Mary — who has not been seen since Episode 2 — wanted Colter to disregard his brother’s pleas. And he’s dodged his brother’s calls ever since.

Tracker was previously renewed for Season 2. New episodes air Sundays at 9/8c on CBS (and stream next day on Paramount+); its Season 1 finale airs May 19.

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