‘The Rookie’ Season 6: Plot, Cast, Production Status, and Everything We Know So Far

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.


Nathan Fillion might be joining the DCU in his first live-action appearance as Green Lantern, but he will continue to be very much a part of ABC’s The Rookie, hopefully for long into the future because John Nolan is not going anywhere. Created by Alexi Hawley for ABC, The Rookie follows the titular rookie at the LAPD, John Nolan, who joins the force to pursue his dream after a life-changing incident. The show revolves around Nolan and the challenges he faces as the oldest rookie in the department in his mid-40s. He is often met with judgment and skepticism but proves his mettle with every case and also proves instrumental in bringing about positive changes within the department. The series’ premise is inspired by the true story and experiences of real-life LAPD officer William Norcross, who joined the department in his mid-40s and continues to serve, while also serving as the show’s executive producer.

Before Nathan Fillion joined in and as The Rookie, his biggest television project was yet another ABC hit, Castle. But in the last five seasons of the police procedural crime drama series, Fillion has garnered more popularity and acclaim than ever, along with the entire team of the series. First released in October 2018, the ensemble drama averaged 6.5 million total viewers, with the show’s second season garnering 8.19 million viewers. Of the 10 dramas aired on ABC in the Spring 2023 season, The Rookie Season 5 ranks at the top with the highest number of audiences. Additionally, the show’s Emmy nominations for Outstanding Stunt Coordination have taken its popularity and success to unexpected levels.

A poster for The Rookie
Image via ABC

The fifth season, which ended in May 2023, explored unforeseen plot twists, relationships materializing, new characters, and tensions from enemies, making it one dramatic season for the show. The Rookie Season 5 ended with a lot of disruption and on a cliffhanger, leaving the Mid-Wilshire police station with a common but unknown enemy, hinting at more damages to come in the future. While the show’s social handle hints at exciting new storylines coming in the sixth season, details are still scarce. However, you can read on to find out all the details we have so far about The Rookie Season 6.

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When and Where Is The Rookie Season 6 Coming Out?

There is no official release date for The Rookie Season 6 yet, and with the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, there might not be a date available anytime soon. It’s possible that the sixth season’s release might get pushed to fall or even later. Since it is an ABC original series, that’s where you can catch new episodes of The Rookie, whenever they arrive. The show usually airs Tuesdays at 8 PM ET on the channel, and you can also watch new episodes later on ABC’s website or the app, provided you have an account. If you want to stream the show, then all five seasons of The Rookie are currently available to binge-watch on Hulu. So you have all the time to catch up on this hit crime procedural (like the good old days) before the new season arrives, if you haven’t already. Alternatively, you can buy all the previous five seasons on Apple TV, Google Play, Amazon, Vudu, and Microsoft Store. Here’s the link to the show’s landing page on Hulu:

Watch on Hulu

Is There a Trailer for The Rookie Season 6?

With the new season yet to start production, there’s no trailer/promo for the upcoming season yet. Stay tuned for the latest updates on The Rookie Season 6’s trailer, and in the meantime, you can check out this eerie clip from the Season 5 finale:

How Many Episodes Are There in The Rookie Season 6?

The show’s episode count has varied over the last five seasons. While the first two seasons had 20 episodes each, the last two seasons had 22 episodes each, with the third season getting 16 episodes, the least of its entire run so far. So, the upcoming sixth season could have any number of episodes, ranging from 15 to 20. There’s also a pretty good chance of the new season having a shorter run than before, but we’ll just have to wait and find out.

When Will The Rookie Season 6 Start Filming?

Production for the new episodes of The Rookie was expected to begin in June 2023, but with the ongoing strikes, it’s unclear when the filming for the sixth season will kick off. At the moment, networks are filling out their fall schedules with unscripted shows and reruns, which means scripted shows like The Rookie will likely be placed on hiatus until the strikes are resolved.

Related:’The Rookie’: 10 Best Episodes So Far, According to IMDb

Who’s In the Cast of The Rookie Season 6?

Main cast members of The Rookie
Image via ABC

To say that The Rookie has an “ensemble cast” would be an understatement. Its cast list is not only massive but also very dynamic, with a slew of popular guest stars making cameos in every season, not to mention the diverse cast featured in its main and recurring roles across the five seasons. At present, the sixth season will see the return of the main cast led by Nathan Fillion as John Nolan, the titular rookie cop at LAPD. The Firefly and Castle star will next appear in the upcoming DCU film, Superman: Legacy, as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, in his first live-action version of the role, which he has voiced five times earlier in James Gunn‘s DCU. Besides the superhero project, Fillion is also set to feature in the ensemble thriller film Skincare.

The returning cast also includes Alyssa Diaz as Angela Lopez, an inspiring LAPD detective; Richard T. Jones as Wade Grey, a sergeant and watch commander at the Mid-Wilshire Station; Mekia Cox as Nyla Harper, the tough and experienced partner to Lopez and Nolan’s new training officer; Melissa O’Neil as Lucy Chen, an ambitious rookie who graduates to an undercover cop and starts dating her training officer, Tim; Eric Winter as Tim Bradford, Chen’s no-nonsense and strict training officer; Jenna Dewan as Bailey Nune, a firefighter and Nolan’s fiancée; Shawn Ashmore as Wesley Evers, a defense lawyer who gets married to Lopez; Lisseth Chavez as Celina Juarez, Nolan’s new rookie. Among other supporting characters, Tru Valentino stars as Aaron Thorsen, a newbie rookie, but his return seems up in the air. He was shot in the Season 5 finale and has been in a coma. Actor Dave Kumar (How I Met Your Father) might be joining the cast for the upcoming Season 6 as well. We can also expect to see The Recruit alum Kristian Bruun, who gave a glimpse of his character in the Season 5 finale. As far as other recurring and guest stars are concerned, we’ll have to wait until production begins.

Who’s Making The Rookie Season 6?

The Rookie is created/written by Alexi Hawley for ABC. Hawley also serves as its showrunner. He is best known as the producer-writer of Castle, which also stars Fillion as the titular character, Richard Castle, thus making The Rookie a reunion for both of them. Hawley has also produced several television series including Body of Proof, State of Affairs, The Following, The Rookie spin-off show The Rookie: Feds, and the recent Netflix series, The Recruit, which also stars Fillion in one episode. Both Fillion and Hawley serve as executive producers, along with Mark Gordon, Nicholas Pepper, Michelle Chapman, Jon Steinberg, Liz Friedlander, and William Norcross. The Rookie is produced by ABC Signature and Entertainment One.

RELATED:’The Rookie’: 10 Best Characters, Ranked by Likability

What’s the Plot of The Rookie Season 6 About?

A scene from The Rookie Season 4-5
Image via ABC

Considering how the fifth season finale was a cliffhanger, The Rookie Season 6 will pick up from where the previous season ended. Across the season, there were a lot of new story arcs that are likely to continue in detail in the coming season. After a long period of “will-they-won’t-they”, Lucy and Tim finally admitted to being in love and start dating. Nolan gets his first rookie, Celina, while Nyla becomes Aaron’s training officer. In a dramatic, adrenaline-rushing season finale, Aaron is shot and rushed to the hospital and falls into a coma. So, the sixth season will naturally pick up with revealing whether he will be alive or dead. But most importantly, The Rookie Season 6 will focus on a new villain, played by Kristian Bruun, who we briefly saw at the end of Season 5 and had planned the entire operation. To summarize, there are a lot of questions waiting to be answered and loose ends from the previous season to be tied when the sixth season of The Rookie arrives, whenever that might be.

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