It looks as though Nathan Fillion’s The Rookie will get to play out its entire rookie season, as ABC announces it has given the series a full first season order. The series is Fillion’s first starring role since his long-running romance-crime series Castle ended its run in 2016. Since then, Fillion has been seen in everything from Modern Family to Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet to an Uncharted short fan film. But the popular actor has also been heard, in things like Netflix’s Big Mouth, as well as some DC Universe animated films, like The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen.
But Fillion’s role as contractor-turned-cop John Nolan is by far his biggest role in the last few years. The series opened up to mostly good reviews and ratings (undoubtedly helped by the lead-in of the network’s recently relaunched, Roseanne-less The Conners). Still, The Rookie presents pretty much everything fans could want from a Fillion show (minus, say, flying around in a spaceship and aiming to misbehave), as his character is charming, funny, and at his best when he’s in over his head. And given that John is a forty-something rookie trying to make it as an LAPD officer, that’s pretty much every episode.
As reported by Deadline, a full season order for The Rookie comes in at 20 episodes. That’s a few shy of what usually constitutes a full season. But seeing as how the series premiered in October rather than September (to better take advantage of the premiere of The Conners) the trimming of the full season order down to 20 makes sense. Should the show be renewed for a second season, it may very well be brought back up to the 22- to 23-episode range.
ABC is having a good fall 2018 season for the most part. Though none of its new series could be considered outright hits, two of the network’s new series, the hourlong drama A Million Little Things and half-hour comedy Single Parents, from New Girl creator Liz Meriwether, also scored full-season orders. During a year when it seems everyone is decrying the state of broadcast television, not having to cancel freshman series a few weeks into their respective runs is about as positive a sign as ABC can hope for right now.
The Rookie is only three weeks into its first season, and has been holding steady in the ratings. Perhaps with news of a full season order, more viewers will be inclined to tune in, brining its viewership even higher.
The Rookie continues Tuesday, November 6 with ‘The Switch’ @10pm on ABC.