How to Get Cast on ‘Tracker’

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Photo Source: Darko Sikman/CBS

Super Bowl LVIII was a ratings hit for CBS, and the network scored another touchdown when “Tracker” debuted immediately afterward. In the three months since its premiere, Ben H. Winters’ action-drama has become the No. 1 most-watched show on television; it’s no surprise that the series was renewed for a second season earlier this spring.

We’ve tracked down all the details on landing a role on the hit show, from information on the casting process to audition advice.


What is “Tracker” about?

Based on Jeffery Deaver’s novel series “The Never Game,” “Tracker” stars Justin Hartley (“This Is Us”) as Colter Shaw, a survivalist who works as a tracker-for-hire, traveling from state to state in his RV to help police departments and civilians solve missing-person cases. But his mystery-solving skills can’t help him unravel his tangled personal life—until his work forces him to reconnect with his scattered siblings and contend with his past.

Who’s in the cast of “Tracker”?

The Season 1 ensemble includes:

  • Justin Hartley as Colter Shaw
  • Robin Weigert as Teddi Bruin
  • Abby McEnany as Velma Bruin
  • Eric Graise as Bob Exley
  • Fiona Rene as Reenie Green
  • Wendy Crewson as Mary Dove Shaw


Who are the casting directors for “Tracker”?

Josh Einsohn (“This Is Us”), Tiffany Little Canfield (“In the Heights”), and Bernard Telsey (“The Gilded Age”) of the Telsey Office are the primary CDs behind the series.

Telsey told us that there are many elements that factor into the team’s process. “You try to cast toward the actor’s strength,” he said. “I always believe that actors can do anything and should stretch and should be able to be seen for projects that don’t normally feel spot-on. But at the end of the day, when you’re supporting the director and the producer in their vision for what they ultimately want, you’re trying to provide them with people that will match what their vision is. You’re ultimately casting for that team, and hopefully, you’re bringing in the right people so they don’t feel miscast.”


How does the “Tracker” casting process work?

During his time on NBC’s “This Is Us,” Hartley forged a connection with Ken Olin, a regular director on the series. After that show ended, the pair were looking to collaborate on a new project, which ended up being “Tracker.”

“We met on the show, and then six years later, we’re like, ‘This is the last year, and maybe we should find something to do together,’ ” Hartley told the Hollywood Reporter. “So we set out on the journey to find something. And it wasn’t [a specific] genre that I was looking for; [Olin] might have been—you’d have to ask him. But I wanted something good and something entertaining.

“So Ken found the book ‘The Never Game’ by Jeffery Deaver and brought it to me, and I fell in love with the character. I thought, especially coming out of a pandemic, what an amazing idea of a life where you live in an Airstream, you’re self-sustaining, [and you] go wherever you want to go and help people,” he added. “You’re not an antihero; you’re just a good guy—a good man. And I thought about that, and I guess it made me think about how rare that is.”

Telsey told us that, when actors audition for his team, “they can expect, hopefully, to be seen and hopefully be chosen. An actor’s job is to audition and hope to get a job. One thing I would want every actor to know is that if they don’t get that specific job they might be coming into the room for, there are so many other things about that experience that will be carried over. Always remember that you’re not being rejected—you just didn’t get that job.

“In our office, we have this box. We come out of a session, and those audition sheets get circulated so everyone can see who might have done something that might be right for the thing they’re casting,” he continued. “That’s the fun thing about our office: We have so many different kinds of projects happening at the same time…. Every audition is another chance at being seen and educating whoever might be in that room [about] what your talent is. There are so many other opportunities that come out of that.”


When does filming begin for “Tracker” Season 2?

On March 4, Deadline reported that the series received an early second-season renewal after only four episodes had aired. There isn’t currently any news as to a production timeline, but keep an eye on this page for updates.


Where can you find “Tracker” casting calls?

Currently, there are no open audition notices for Season 2. In the meantime, we recommend bookmarking our CBS casting call page so you’ll be the first to know about audition announcements for “Tracker” and other shows on the network.


What are the best audition tips for landing a role on “Tracker”?

Remember your roots. Hartley told Harper’s Bazaar that it’s vital for actors to never forget where they came from. “I’ve taken a lot of risks as far as turning down money to do something I guess I thought was more meaningful,” he said. “But I don’t know if that’s the best piece of advice, because I’ve also struggled with money when I could have had a little more if I’d just taken the damn job. 

“It doesn’t have to do with acting or the choices you make; but don’t forget where you came from, and treat people a certain way,” he added. “Sometimes this business gets really busy and hectic, and people start quote-unquote ‘believing their own press.’ You just can’t do that; there’s no time for it, especially nowadays. Everybody has an inside scoop, so just be a nice guy. Be a nice person.”

Show off your range. Canfield told us that, if a CD likes you, an audition might lead to a role down the road. “So many of our projects feed other projects. One person gets a job when you’re casting people, but that doesn’t mean [only] one person was good,” she explained. “On every project we work on, we’re constantly learning new actors and seeing actors we love try something new. 

“This happened with a pilot I just cast. A young actor we cast in a play years ago had gotten close to a show that I had done three years ago and didn’t get the part,” she continued. “And now, that producer and I are working on a new project. She came in and slayed and got the lead [on the] series. I don’t know if that would have happened if I hadn’t seen her for so many different kinds of projects and got to see how much range she actually has.”

Make yourself TV-ready. “For television auditions, you really need to know the material so that you can act with the reader and interact with the camera,” Telsey told us. “So much of television work is listening. It’s different from a theater audition where you can look down at your sides. On camera, if you look down, you’ve dropped out of the scene. 

“The camera captures everything, and people watching want to see you reacting and listening. And you can only do that if you know the lines so you’re not having to look at your sides,” he continued. “You really want to have it memorized and have it in your body so you can be free to act to the camera. Also, you should make colorful choices so that people watching the tape really get to see the ups and downs and colors. So make a lot of choices, even if it’s a short scene.”

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