The Rookie’s Niecy Nash Explains How Her Prep For The Show Differed From Her Work On Reno 9-1-1

niecy nash nathan fillion the rookie
(Image credit: ABC)

ABC’s cop procedural The Rookie will (hopefully) be expanding its fictional universe soon. The show, which landed a Season 5 renewal, is set to deliver a two-part backdoor pilot for a spinoff that would potentially feature Niecy Nash's Simone Clark, the oldest rookie at the FBI Academy. Nash is no stranger to cop shows, as she was on Reno 9-1-1 and its revival. However, the actress recently opened up about the difference in her prep for the two shows.

Niecy Nash spoke to ET about her The Rookie character as well as the support she's received since joining the show. Given Nash’s experience playing Deputy Raineesha Williams for seven seasons on the beloved Comedy Central-birthed series, it's clear that she knows a lot about playing an officer of the law. However, while speaking to the news outlet, she explained that when it came to preparing for the ABC show, she really had to buckle down:

When I used to play a cop on Reno 911!, it was like Keystone Cops [a group of incompetent officers featured in a series of comedies in the early 1900s]. And the more mistakes you made, the better it was. So for this particular job, I love that I actually had to get training on exactly how you're supposed to hold the gun because in Reno, I could just sit it on top of my head, and nobody would care. But to actually be trained properly and how to drive stunt cars properly, there was a lot that I had never experienced in the industry, even though I've been in it my whole life. So I took it all in.

It definitely makes sense that the training would be more rigorous and realistic when it comes to The Rookie. Since the ABC series is more of a procedural and the comedy (which is now on Roku and has welcomed Jamie Lee Curtis) is more humorous, the latter wouldn't require too much strenuous training. It's interesting that the actress can say that she's played two cops on two starkly different shows. While she seems excited to be getting into the thick of things now, she likely appreciates what she's learned working on the sitcom/

The potential Rookie spinoff was announced in February, with Niecy Nash sharing her excitement about joining the franchise. As of right now, an official title for the show has not been announced but, if ABC picks it up to series, it wouldn’t be surprising if the producers go with something similar to the parent series' moniker. (The Trainee, perhaps?) Moreover, the two-part backdoor pilot will likely introduce some other major players that will likely carry into the offshoot.

The two-parter will center on an explosion at a power station, which leads the LAPD to consult with the feds. Based on the few clips that have been released for the episodes, it's already clear that Niecy Nash is bringing some personality and humor to Simone while also keeping the character grounded.

In addition to the proposed spinoff, Niecy Nash is also part of the cast of the upcoming limited series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix. On the show, which focuses on the infamous criminal also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal and Milwaukee Monster, she'll portray Dahmer’s concerned neighbor, Glenda Cleveland. Needless to say, Nash has really been changing things up since her time on Reno 9-1-1, and I'm excited to see what she continues to do within The Rookie universe and any other projects that come her way.

The first part of The Rookie's FBI-centric backdoor pilot premieres tonight, Sunday, April 24, at 10 p.m. EST on ABC, with Part 2 airing next week on May 1. Check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule for info on other shows you can look forward to.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.