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Will The Rookie Get Renewed For Season 2?

The Rookie Nathan Fillion John Nolan ABC
(Image credit: Eric McCandless / ABC)

Spoilers for the Season 1 finale of The Rookie are discussed below.

As it currently stands, ABC has not renewed The Rookie. The network’s freshman police procedural debuted this past fall and promptly received a full season order. It stars Castle’s Nathan Fillion in a vehicle that sports a different kind of humor than the long-running detective drama had.

Now fans of his Rookie character, Nolan, and the show’s other characters are on the edge of their seats. It is bad enough having to wait to learn if the network has popped a bubble show. Adding a massive cliffhanger to the end only heightens the tension. Well, that is exactly what The Rookie opted for with its first season finale.

Read on for a rundown of why the story demands a second season and what the ratings mean for the show's renewal odds. Let's start with the cliffhanger!

Why The Story Needs To Continue

Season 1 ended with Bradford’s life in jeopardy. After getting exposed to a virus from a bio-terrorism attack, Bradford was given an experimental cure. All seemed to be going well after he came out of the house he was quarantined in. Then it was not going so well. In the final moments of the finale, Bradford collapsed.

Is another funeral in the cards? Did Bradford die? Is he in a coma? Can he survive? These are all questions only Season 2 could answer. If ABC does not renew the police drama, fans will be left to forever wonder about the fate of Bradford.

The Rookie put itself in a position for fans to demand ABC renew the series. A cliffhanger is not the way any fan who has invested in 19 episodes wants to see a show end. What will ABC decide? Well, as you probably guessed, it all comes down to ratings and viewership.

What The Ratings May Mean

The Season 1 finale went out on a high note. In Live+Same day calculations, the Rookie finale bested NBC's medical drama New Amsterdam in the key 18-49 age demographic, with an 0.7 rating beating New Amsterdam's 0.6. That said, the med series slightly topped The Rookie in total viewers, per TV By The Numbers. New Amsterdam was viewed by 4.45 million viewers, while The Rookie only scored an audience of 3.99 million viewers.

Of course, both shows were well behind CBS' new episode of NCIS: New Orleans in the 10 p.m. ET hour. NCIS: NOLA was viewed by 6.63 million people, with a key demo rating of 0.7.

A sign that a Season 2 renewal is feasible is The Rookie’s performance in the Live+7 ratings. Those include viewers who watch on a delay, a.k.a. not live. Live+7 provides a boost for The Rookie, which airs relatively late in primetime with the 10 p.m. ET time slot.

Once you add in numbers from delayed viewers, the show’s total viewership doubles. There's still another reason to be hopeful for the show’s future. Taking into account the 27th week of the 2018-2019 broadcast season, TV By The Numbers’ Cancel Bear has weighed in, calling The Rookie's renewal chances by May “likely.”

That prediction should be a relief to fans nervous they will not learn the fate of Bradford. Based on this info, The Rookie’s chances look better than many. You can currently stream episodes of The Rookie on ABC’s website.

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.