Niecy Nash made her debut in The Rookie universe in the Season 4 episode titled “Simone.” Fans of the police procedural were introduced to a woman in a similar position to Nathan Fillion’s John Nolan in that she’s the oldest rookie at the FBI Academy. Nash was excited to “bring Simone Clark to life” in the two-episode backdoor pilot, and she made the most of the opportunity. It was confirmed ahead of The Rookie’s Season 4 finale that spinoff The Rookie: Feds had been ordered to series, after viewers seemed interested in tuning in to see how Nash’s comedy skills combined with her character’s interesting backstory.
The two-episode arc on ABC had John Nolan enlisting Simone Clark's help when one of her former students was suspected in a terror attack. Two other characters who were introduced in those episodes will continue on in the spinoff series, and the rest of the cast is being rounded out ahead of its fall premiere. Let's take a look at who all has signed on for The Rookie: Feds.
Niecy Nash (Simone Clark)
In the two episodes of The Rookie that served as the spinoff’s backdoor pilot, viewers got to learn a lot about Niecy Nash’s leading character. Other than being the oldest FBI rookie trainee in Quantico, we learn that she’s hard-working and resilient. She put her FBI dreams on the backburner while she was raising kids and then made the decision to go back into training. We also got to see a little of the complicated relationship she has with her father, which is likely to play a big role in the first season.
Meanwhile, this isn’t Niecy Nash’s first role as a police officer. The comedian has portrayed Deputy Raineesha Williams on Reno 911! for eight seasons now. While the only similarity between the Comedy Central series and The Rookie: Feds might be the badges, Nash explained how Reno 911! actually helped to prepare her for The Rookie. Don’t forget, she also played Kappa Kappa Tau’s security guard Denise Hemphill in the Fox dramedy Scream Queens.
Felix Solis (Matthew Garza)
Special Agent Matthew Garza was another character introduced in the backdoor pilot. He asked for Simone Clark to be brought in on the terrorism case, but then proceeded to dismiss her suggestions and try to send her back to Quantico. Not surprisingly, Simone was able to prove herself an asset, and while Garza said he didn’t like that she was unconventional and couldn't follow the rules, he hinted they may cross paths again. Looks like he’s right!
Garza is played by Felix Solis, who is known most recently for his role as Omar Navarro on Netflix’s Ozark and has appeared in a number of other series, including Charmed, SEAL Team, The Family, The Following, The Good Wife, and The West Wing. He’s also appeared in a number of movies, including My Soul to Take and Man on a Ledge, as well as leant his voice to a couple of Grand Theft Auto video games.
Frankie Faison (Christopher ‘Cutty’ Clark)
Frankie Faison plays Simone's formerly estranged father, Christopher "Cutty" Clark. We also met him in The Rookie and learned that not only does he have a complicated past with Simone, but that stems from his relationship to law enforcement overall. Cutty served eight years in jail for a crime he didn't commit; since now he wants to defund the police, one can imagine how he feels about his daughter's career choice. In the end, however, he was able to contribute to the case Simone was working on, and there was hope for an improved relationship by the end of the backdoor pilot.
The actor has over 100 credits on his resume, including his role in the Broadway premiere of Fences, which garnered him a Tony Award nomination. On TV, he's been known as Ervin Burrell on The Wire, Sugar Bates on the Cinemax series Banshee, and as Miranda Bailey's father William on Grey's Anatomy. On the big screen he was Barney Matthews in The Silence of the Lambs and its sequels, the no-nonsense landlord in Coming to America, Coconut Sid in Do the Right Thing, and many, many more.
Britt Robertson (Laura Stensen)
Britt Robertson is playing Laura Stensen, who was the youngest person ever allowed into the FBI's behaviorial analysis unit (nice counterbalance to Simone being the oldest rookie). Deadline reports that Laura is the “black sheep” of a family of brilliant academics who, after discovering that her boyfriend had been cheating on her with her best friend, fell into a slump, wondering how a criminal profiler could miss that the people closest to her were liars. Given a lifeline in Garza’s new unit, Laura’s ready to throw her socially awkward, workaholic, book-smart self back into the job, hoping to get her mojo back.
Britt Robertson recently finished shooting The Re-Education of Molly Singer, but fans may recognize her as Cheyenne on Big Sky. She's played leading roles in Shondaland's ABC courtroom drama For the People, Netflix's Girlboss, and the CBS Stephen King adaptation of Under the Dome. Her movie roles include Melissa Henning in I Still Believe, teenage Hannah in A Dog's Purpose, Casey Newton in Tomorrowland, Marnie Cooper in Scream 4, and Steve Carell's melodramatic daughter Cara in Dan in Real Life.
Kevin Zegers (Brendon Acres)
Kevin Zegers joined the cast of The Rookie: Feds in June as Brendon Acres. Deadline reports that Brendon is just out of Quantico and has a lot to prove in his first posting, especially because his background as the lead on the long-running TV series Vampire Cop means that few people take him seriously. His years of method-actor training led not only to martial arts and gun skills, but also a master’s in computer science.
It sounds like a fun role for Kevin Zegers, whose other television roles include Dr. Nathaniel Flynn as a member of the short-lived drama Rebel cast, and Mel on AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. He is also known for starring in the Air Bud movies, as well as for his roles in 2005's Transamerica and the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake. You may also have forgotten he played a small role on the original Gossip Girl.
James Lesure (Carter Hope)
James Lesure is the latest addition to The Rookie: Feds' regular cast as Carter Hope, who is described by Deadline as a conservative and a by-the-book traditionalist. He joined the Bureau after a successful career as a lawyer in the Justice Department. Now he has the most challenging task of his career: training the outspoken and outside-the-box rookie Simone Clark, whose style will be a challenge to his painfully won beliefs.
James Lesure's recent credits include the HBO series Winning Time, where he played Julius Erving, and — like Kevin Zegers — Rebel. He's had a number of film and TV roles, including the series Las Vegas, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Good Girls, Blue Bloods, and more.
Following The Rookie's two-episode pilot for the Niecy Nash series, the decision was made to cut the character of Special Agent Casey Fox for the spinoff. She was played by Kat Foster. The Rookie: Feds is set to premiere in the fall, airing at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesdays behind Bachelor In Paradise — a surprising move, as it was expected to be packaged with the Nathan Fillion-led flagship series on Sunday nights. Check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what other new and returning series are premiering soon.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.
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