Jensen Ackles Lands First Lead Role Since Supernatural — in Former Chicago Fire EP’s New Thriller Countdown

Since the CW show’s conclusion in 2020, the actor has guest starred in ‘The Boys’ and ‘Tracker’

By Esther Kang

Jensen Ackles has been tapped to lead Prime Video’s upcoming thriller, Countdown.

On Thursday, June 6, the streamer announced that the actor, 46, has been cast as LAPD officer Mark Meachum — his first leading role since his breakout series, The CW’s Supernatural, which concluded in 2020. From Chicago Fire producer, Derek Haas, Prime revealed Countdown will consist of 13 episodes in a press release.

According to the series’ official logline, a “suspicious murder in broad daylight” will lead to Meachum getting recruited in a “secret task force of undercover agents from all branches of law enforcement to investigate.”

When the “truth of a more sinister plot comes into focus,” the team of professionals will be forced to put aside their “conflicting personal agendas to unite and save a city of millions.”

“We are incredibly excited to be back in business with Derek Haas,” Vernon Sanders, head of television, Amazon MGM Studios wrote in a statement. “He has an undeniable ability to enthrall audiences with thrilling storytelling and heart. We cannot wait for Prime Video’s global customers to experience this dynamic series, led by our very talented star, Jensen Ackles.”

Supernatural premiered in 2005 and aired its final episode in November 2020. The series was never officially canceled by The CW — instead it ended at the discretion of the show’s cast.

The show followed the two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Ackles) who lost their mother when they were young. Raised by their father, they were groomed to go into the family business of hunting down evil supernatural creatures.

While reminiscing on what the show meant for his career, Ackles spoke of the show’s longevity during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2022. “I think we topped out at 327 episodes of prime time television,” he said, “which was a long, long run.”

Though he emphasized the word “long,” Ackles admitted the experience on Supernatural was incomparable to other acting jobs. He shared, “It was fantastic. There was a reason why I think we all stuck around, though, because we just truly enjoyed it.”

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Since the series’ finale in 2020, the actor has guest-starred in popular series including appearing as Solider Boy and Russel Shaw on The Boys and playing Justin Hartley’s character Colter Shaw’s estranged older brother on Tracker.

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