John Nolan will become a training officer in season 5 of The Rookie

·5 min read
John Nolan will become a training officer in season 5 of The Rookie

John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) is going to be a rookie again!

While appearing on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday, Fillion teased that Officer Nolan will achieve his dream of becoming a training officer on season 5 of ABC hit The Rookie. "Early in season 5, John Nolan's going to become a training officer," confirmed creator Alexi Hawley. "He'll be the oldest rookie training officer."

"We started off with, this guy is the rookie," Fillion said. "Now he's elevated to another level of his job, and he's starting at rock bottom. I get a brand new rookie who's making all the same mistakes I was making as a rookie."

Fillion said the new rookie won't be a carbon copy of Nolan, but the character's journey will touch on familiar themes from the show. "She's very much her own character," Fillion added, eliciting gasps from the audience at the reveal that the rookie is a woman, leading him to joke, "What am I, Tom Holland over here?"


ABC/Raymond Liu (2)

Fillion and Hawley were joined by Niecy Nash (Claws) and executive producer Terence Paul Winter to tease The Rookie season 5 and the premiere season of spin-off The Rookie: Feds.

Hawley danced his way around the No. 1 question on fans' minds: what's next for Chenford, a.k.a. Lucy (Melissa O'Neill) and Tim (Eric Winter) after that season 4 finale kiss? "Obviously, we left quite the cliffhanger at the end of last season with the kiss, which we've been building up to for four seasons," Hawley said. "There will definitely be repercussions and some fallout from that, but I do think it's fair to make you wait to see exactly where that goes. There's definitely going to be some carryover from the end of last season that's going to be very dynamic."

Fillion elaborated on the actors' undeniable chemistry, saying, "You have one character who is so very tuned in in Lucy. And then in Tim, you have this guy who's so very walled off and closed off and so tuned out. I tease Eric about this all the time. All he has to do is a little tiny smile and everybody goes, 'Oh my god, swooooon.'"

Terence Paul Winter revealed that the writers' room has been shipping this couple since season 1, originally using the clunkier ship name of "Tucy." Later, while teasing the first episode of the season, Hawley coyly noted the premiere could feature "maybe another kiss." Though that could be a misdirect, since the show is littered with couples, including Nolan and Bailey (Jenna Dewan), who Fillion promised will remain on very stable ground.

But a whole new world is about to open up with The Rookie: Feds, the first spin-off in the universe, which had a backdoor pilot in a special two-part episode on season 4 of The Rookie. Hawley said he's long wanted to launch a spin-off. "It's always been in the back of my head," he noted. "It's a universal experience, the restarting your life, the second chapter. So it always felt like there was room for that to grow. Once we got a couple of seasons under our belt, we started hatching our evil plan to expand the universe. There's a lot of different ways we could've gone, staying in law enforcement, branching out to a law show, a medical show, but it felt like our first step should stay in that universe. I selfishly wanted to keep us in Los Angeles, so it became about a federal agency that's in Los Angeles that could be in tandem with the LAPD."

Leading that new show is Nash as FBI rookie Simone Clark. "There's the FBI way, and then there's the Simone Clark way," Nash previously told EW of her character. "She's a little unconventional. She's seen as a loose cannon, so her biggest challenge will be proving she can do the job and do it well."

Elaborating on the Comic-Con panel, Nash added, "We all know someone like Simone. I grabbed a little bit from different women in my life. She is that friend in your head or your favorite auntie. I was like I know this woman, she is a culmination of so many women, so let me just bake a little bit in from the women I love and like to be around."

Despite staying in the Los Angeles universe, Winter, who is remaining as an executive producer on The Rookie but serving as showrunner on The Rookie: Feds, teased that the new show will take audiences a bit further afield. "Because we're a federal organization, Los Angeles is not the only place where we do her work," he said. "We have a jet plane and we often fly. We go to Texas, Mississipi, Florida. It opens up the show in an exciting way. We're going to be all over Los Angeles, all over the nation, and we might even go overseas."

Still, don't expect that broader approach to keep the two shows out of each other's worlds. Both Winter and Hawley promised a lot of crossover. "We're going to try to be lousy with crossover events," quipped Winter, adding that the two shows shoot on the same lot, enabling a level of ease with that approach.

"We pick up pretty much right where we left off because we had some pressing matters that were going on," Hawley said of the show's return. "We were designing the show with crossovers between the new show and The Rookie proper. They do live in the same universe and so, we really want you to feel like you can balance between the shows, but at the same time not feel like, 'Oh I missed this one, so I can't watch that one.' They all stand on their own, but they're also super fun to watch together."

The Rookie returns Sept. 25, while The Rookie: Feds premieres Sept. 27.

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