The Rookie: Feds, coming to ABC Sept. 27, may be a spinoff, but don't expect more of the same.
"We haven't seen this woman before," says star Niecy Nash of Simone Clark, the FBI's oldest rookie at 48. "[Besides the fact that] less than one percent of Black women make up the FBI, she is serious, funny, sexy, sexually fluid, older, and comfortable in her skin."
This spring Simone Clark and her parallels to The Rookie's John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) were introduced on the flagship ABC drama. Besides establishing a near guarantee of crossover episodes (as evidenced in this exclusive photo), we met some of the new show's protagonists — including Simone's father, Cutty (Frankie Faison), whose anti-law-enforcement views clash with her career, and condescending Agent Garza (Felix Solis).
But while Nolan began his career as a happy-go-lucky fish out of water, Simone is something else entirely. "There's the FBI way and then there's the Simone Clark way," quips Nash. "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."
As with Nolan and the other characters on The Rookie, we'll also get glimpses of Simone's personal life, whether it's her conflict with her father or her relationship with her twins. Nash also teases that Simone is someone inclined to think that everyone is attracted to her. "She thinks everybody likes her," she laughs. "Like 'likes' her and wants to date her. Even if they don't. She's an equal opportunity dater. She'll date men. She'll date women. She's open."
Simone, however, had her sights set on the FBI for years, deferring her career goals to raise her twins. And in her own unique way, she's been training for this moment — working as a guidance counselor for 20 years to become an expert in reading people, teaching Driver's Ed at the high school to learn pit maneuvers, and volunteering at the computer lab to bone up on complex data research.
"You meet her at a space where she's already stepped up and said, 'I'm going to choose me. I'm going to follow my dream,'" muses Nash. "She used every point of her job to learn something that would prepare her to be an FBI agent. She's seasoned. It's just that she's spicy and doing it her way."