Posted with permission from Lifezette

No role better served Chuck Norris' legendary status in pop culture than that of Texas Ranger Cordell Walker on "Walker, Texas Ranger."

With 196 episodes aired over the course of nine seasons from 1993 to 2001, "Walker" was essentially a modern-day western, a traditional piece of television programming with positive messaging and conservative values peppered throughout.

From his beard to his roundhouse kicks, Norris was a staple on television, and many fans were disappointed when the series ended. Reruns still air, and fans have long been clamoring for more Norris, who has been in an unofficial acting retirement status for some time now.

Here's a look at five facts you likely never knew about "Walker, Texas Ranger."

1.) There was a spinoff. "Walker, Texas Ranger" was so popular CBS tried to capitalize on a spinoff show at one point.

The series followed the characters of Detective Carlos Sandoval (Marco Sanchez) and Trent Malloy (James Wlcek), a former Army sergeant and protege of Cordell Walker. Both characters had made their debuts on "Walker," so fans were familiar with them.

Introduced in a two-hour backdoor pilot episode in season four of "Walker, Texas Ranger," the series aired six episodes while "Walker" was on hiatus in 1999 and earned strong ratings.

Following the two main characters as they opened a private investigation business, creators Chuck Norris and his brother Aaron, who was a producer and director on "Walker," assumed the series would get picked up for a full season by CBS -- but they had no such luck. The network cited budget concerns as the reason for not continuing the series.

2.) Walker made his way into a series of novels. He didn't just roundhouse bad guys into jailhouses on the screen; Walker also did it in the pages of several novels. James Reasoner wrote three Cordell Walker adventures, all of which were published in 1999.

Though they're now out of print, used copies can be found on Amazon and eBay. Titles included: "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Hell's Half Acre" and "Siege on the Belle." All three books sport Chuck Norris on the cover and include the adventures of Cordell Walker -- he does everything from going after kidnapping bank robbers to tracking down murderous casino owners.

3.) Additional movie follow-ups were intended. The last fans saw of Walker and the gang was in the 2005 television movie "Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire."

The film was part of the CBS "Sunday Movie of the Week" lineup. The film ended on a cliffhanger that included a main character (Alex Cahill-Walker, played by Sheree J. Wilson) falling victim to a shooting. The cliffhanger was intended to be followed up on in future television movies, but CBS canceled its "Sunday Movie of the Week" block of programming -- and Norris and company remained silent on the show's future in movies.

Twelve years later, it's tough for fans to expect a proper ending to the show in movie form, though that was the original intention.

4.) Academy Award winner Paul Haggis co-created the show -- but didn't like it. Haggis is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers in Hollywood. He's written such hit films for Clint Eastwood as "Million Dollar Baby," "Flags of Our Fathers," and "Letters from Iwo Jima."

He wrote and directed 2005's "Crash," which won the Best Picture Academy Award, and he spent some time typing up James Bond adventures.

The most curious bit to his filmography is a co-creator credit on "Walker, Texas Ranger," a show that doesn't seem to be in his wheelhouse.

The show was still averaging over 10 million viewers in its last season on TV.

In reality, Haggis only worked on the program for two weeks -- and he's not shy about how he felt about it.

While promoting "Crash," Haggis said the fact that he was most well-known as a co-creator of a show he'd spent a mere two weeks working on was what motivated him to jump into film. "I had to do something to erase that ['Walker, Texas Ranger' credit]," he told Entertainment Weekly.

5.) Norris decided to end the series. "Walker, Texas Ranger" never dipped too much in the ratings. Though its viewership steadily fell over time, the audience was still very strong toward the end of its run. Norris ultimately decided to end the series on a high note, much as Jerry Seinfeld did with his signature '90s sitcom.

"You always want to try to quit as a winner," Norris told the Los Angeles Times about the end of the series in 2001. He also said his role as a lead actor and producer wasn't allowing him much time for life's other pleasures. "Being the executive producer and the lead doesn't give you much time for a life," he said.

The show was still averaging over 10 million viewers in its last season on TV.

PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at zachary.leeman@lifezette.com.