Why Nathan Fillion Joined Another Cop Drama So Soon After Castle's Cancellation

The Rookie Nathan Fillion John Nolan ABC
(Image credit: Tony Rivetti/ABC)

Back in May 2016, the beloved series Castle was cancelled. Two years later, Nathan Fillion is returning to ABC in another cop drama -- The Rookie. So, is Fillion fascinated by law and order shows? Fillion responded to that very question, saying:

It's a great question, but it's from a television-watching perspective. My perspective is from the guy that goes in every day and builds the show: You get a script, you come in, you dress up... we're putting together the pieces. So my perspective isn't from watching it and being entertained by it. My perspective is from who am I going to be working with, what kind of stories are we going to be telling. Working with Alexi Hawley is something that I jumped at the chance to do again. Working with Mark Gordon, you can't shake a stick at that. He knows what he's doing and he loves to tell stories. All of the elements for me are about the day-to-day of the job: 'Am I going to enjoy what I'm doing?' rather than 'Am I going to enjoy watching it?'

While it appears to be related, Nathan Fillion's answer to Parade rules out the notion. As it turns out, Fillion's choice to do another cop procedural in The Rookie is related to Castle. Just not in the way some may have thought. Alexi Hawley, who Fillion mentions wanting to collaborate with again, served as a producer on Castle. Hawley is the executive producer on The Rookie, thus connecting the two series outside of sharing Fillion as their lead.

It is intriguing to hear Nathan Fillion assert why he chooses the shows he does to take part in. Fillion revealed it has more to do with what he enjoys doing than watching. That approach makes perfect sense given that actors must work on the show they signed on to do. They do not necessarily have to watch it.

There is also the aspect of liking who you work with. Chances are that if you have had a positive experience with them before, you will again. Tackling a new show with a different concept would be less of an adjustment if you knew some of those on set.

When asked about The Rookie's sense of humor, Nathan Fillion teased his character having one. He added that his Rookie character's humor is more based in reality than Richard Castle's.

Nathan Fillion also spoke fondly of Castle. Fans of the caper will undoubtedly be happy to hear that! Castle was a special show, and it will be interesting to see if The Rookie can capture similar success.

Armed with romance and overarching intrigue to offset its crime-of-the-week structure, Castle struck a chord with viewers. The series debuted nearly a decade ago in 2009 and ran for eight seasons. For perspective, that is as long a run as Game of Thrones will have had when it ends.

As someone who is not a huge fan of procedurals, Castle changed that when it premiered. Nathan Fillion's easy-going charm and ability to rattle off quick-witted banter brought something fresh to the genre. When a show is dealing with crime, you need a presence to counterbalance the grim atmosphere. That is where Fillion consistently excels. Otherwise, a procedural is just a procedure. You have to have something special to help it stand out.

New episodes of The Rookie air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. It is part of the ongoing slate of fall premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.