Nathan Fillion in 'The Rookie'

What’s Happening With the Seventh Season of ‘The Rookie’?

The Rookie ended its sixth season, with its final episode, “Escape Plan.” Before then the series had already announced that it was going ahead with a seventh season, though it won’t come as straightforward as usual. ABC has delayed the next season, but when to exactly?

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The police procedural drama, starring Nathan Fillion as the titular “rookie,” wrapped up its sixth season on May 21. Fillion’s character, John Nolan—the LAPD’s oldest rookie, joining the force in his 40s—must tackle the city’s unpredictable nature, from local nuisances to true villains. Nolan and his team face extreme threats—some bring them together, and others tear them apart.

That was the case in season six, when the slow-burn love story of Tim Bradford and Lucy Chen ended after the former realized he needed to work on himself first, and despite a whole season passing, not enough has changed for him to enter back into his relationship with Lucy. The two had a heart-to-heart in the season finale, which was much needed, but Tim still has his issues to work through, and bringing them back together at this point may have been premature.

Along with the characters’ personal lives, there was a whole slew of baddies, with the season’s overarching villain, Monica Stevens, fighting for screentime in a plot that somehow brought them all together in a way generally described as convoluted and messy. However, there was still plenty of entertaining action to be found for adrenaline junkies.

When can we expect a season 7 release?

The Rookie, Tim Bradford and Lucy Chen in uniform

Prior to the season finale, the network announced that a seventh season had been ordered, but it looks like it’s been delayed. This is due to the 2024 U.S. election, which would have resulted in gaps between episodes as everyone switches to watch the election race that will likely dominate television screens across the country. ABC has decided to instead launch season seven midseason in 2025.

Though initially bummed by the delay, The Rookie star Eric Winters, who plays Tim Bradford, told Hello Magazine,

“I was very nervous at first I’ll be honest, I was bummed, But then, I talked to a lot of people at the upfronts and it made perfect sense. I know how much of a priority The Rookie is to ABC and with this being an election year and a lot of time being devoted to those sorts of things, they’re trying to protect the show. There would be too many gaps, and the fans don’t love that. So they’re really trying to put us in a lineup where we can give eight episodes in a row with no interruption and so I appreciate it for that reason.”

With no exits having been announced, all the regular cast are expected to return, with Fillion and Winters returning alongside Jenna Dewan, Shawn Ashmore, Alyssa Diaz, Richard T. Jones, and Melissa O’Neil.

What can we expect for the season 7 plot?

Though the finale wrapped up some storylines, others are still left open. With Tim and Lucy still not back together, there is still a window for them to have a true reunion further down the line. Elsewhere, Bailey’s ex-husband is out of prison and likely out for revenge, which could be a huge arc for the season, especially given that John and Bailey are discussing having a family. Speaking of family, Dewan, who plays Bailey, will be absent for the first few episodes due to expecting a baby in real life! Fiction really does mirror reality.

Though we don’t know when the release date is exactly, or how many episodes there will be in total, we know it will return to ABC, and you can watch on the ABC website and Hulu.

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Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.