How The Rookie Will Keep Its Title As Nathan Fillion's John Nolan Gets Promoted

the rookie nathan fillion
(Image credit: abc press)

ABC's The Rookie will soon reach the end of its second season, no doubt with Nathan Fillion's John Nolan facing some sort of undesirable danger, even though the finale that will be airing isn't the one that the creative team originally planned for. The back half of Season 2 has seen a noticeable uptick in viewership, which will likely influence a Season 3 renewal. If the show keeps going forward, though, Nolan is bound to get bigger promotions, and wouldn't that make the Rookie part of the title irrelevant?

Not at all, says The Rookie's creator and showrunner Alexi Hawley, who'd previously worked with Nathan Fillion on Castle. According to Hawley, the show's name will just about always be relevant from a certain perspective. Here's how he explained it to AssignmentX.

Yes. I do think that, given his sort of unique position as the oldest rookie, he’s always going to be coming into every next level of the LAPD as a rookie. Obviously, your first time as a patrol officer, your first time as a training officer. In great success, in Season 8, he’s the oldest rookie detective. So at its heart, it’s really about a character who’s between these worlds. Because he’s twenty years older than his fellow rookies, and the people who are at the LAPD are all his superiors. So that will always sort of stay.

That definitely makes a lot of sense. Sure, John Nolan will end up reaching a plateau where he surpasses other less promotable co-workers, but for quite a while, he's going to be the oldest knight at the rookie round table. It helps that he's so damned charming, doesn't it?

Now, I wonder how many characters will still be calling Nolan a rookie years down the road whenever he's moved up the line, and whether that would be considered shit-talking or not. It certainly wouldn't be good for his reputation to be frazzled in the middle of a hectic situation and then have to worry about a rival authority figure pulling out schoolyard insults on top of it all. In any case, I guess we won't have to worry about that until quite a few years from now, unless The Rookie pulls off some major time-jumps.

john nolan the rookie shocked face

(Image credit: abc press)

Just kidding, John! No time jumps, no time jumps.

Even beyond the boost in viewers and ratings for the live airings, The Rookie has also been doing incredibly well in delayed viewing. As such, I think fans will get to watch Nathan Fillion continue to be older than his colleagues for at least one more season.

The Rookie airs Sunday nights on ABC at 10:00 p.m. ET, with the Season 2 finale airing on May 10. Check out our TV finale rundown to see when more of your favorite shows will be calling it quits soon, and then hit up our Summer 2020 premiere schedule to learn all the shows that will pop up next.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.