The Rookie’s status as a popular procedural series meant it was only a matter of time before the show’s universe would expand beyond its parent show. After ordering a potential spinoff in February 2022, ABC has finally set the table for its intended spinoff with a two-part event which will also serve as a backdoor pilot.
The Rookie follows John Nolan, a middle-aged, divorced man from Pennsylvania who moves to Los Angeles and joins the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), becoming the oldest rookie in the department’s history. ABC’s intended spinoff will follow a similar premise and will follow Simone Clark – the oldest trainee in the FBI Academy.
Niecy Nash, who will play Simone Clark, is expected to lead the spinoff in the same vein as Nathan Fillion who currently plays John Nolan on The Rookie. With this currently untitled, intended spin-off, Nash could be returning to her ‘law enforcement’ roots; the actress’ break into the mainstream came with her role as Deputy Raineesha Williams on the critically acclaimed Reno 911! It will also be her first lead role after her turn on Claws which wrapped up on February 6, 2022.
ABC has also released an explosive trailer for the upcoming two-episode event. The newly released trailer sets up Nash’s introduction into the franchise, and introduces fans to her formidable character. Part one of the two-episode backdoor pilot, titled “Simone,” will see Officer John Nolan and the LA division of the FBI solicit the assistance of FBI trainee Simone Clark after a former student of hers is suspected of terrorism after an explosion at a local power station. The episode will be co-written by Alexi Hawley, The Rookie’s creator and executive producer, and Terence Paul Winter, a fellow executive producer of The Rookie. The episode will be directed by Liz Friedlander.
The two-part event will feature Fillion, Mekia Cox, Richard T. Jones, Eric Winter, Jenna Dewan, Alyssa Diaz, Melissa O’Neil, and Shawn Ashmore, main cast members on The Rookie. In addition to these familiar faces, the backdoor pilot will also star Frankie Faison as Christopher “Cutty” Clark, Kat Foster as Special Agent Casey Fox, and Felix Solis as Special Agent Matthew Garza.
The first part of the backdoor pilot will air on April 24, while the second part will debut on May 1. Watch the trailer for the two-part event below: