The Rookie Season 6: Potential Release, Cast, and Everything We Know

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
The Rookie Nathan Fillion

The Rookie Season 6 is currently in production at ABC - here's everything we know so far about the release, story, cast, and more.

Nathan Fillion is getting ready to come back for his sixth season leading The Rookie as Officer John Nolan as he progresses through the LAPD, solving cases, taking down bad guys, and getting into strange situations with his fellow cops.

When Will The Rookie Season 6 Release?

The Rookie, John Nolan

The Rookie network ABC revealed that its Fall 2023 schedule will swerve scripted content altogether due to the writer and actor strikes, instead opting to air unscripted shows and save the rest for the mid-season.

As such Season 6 faced a major delay to production, pushing the original reported plans to get underway in late June through to November. Creator Alexi Hawley confirmed in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) on November 21 that production had begun, saying, "Day 1. Let’s roll!"

Hawley has already shut down concerns that star Nathan Fillion joining Superman: Legacy - which plans to shoot in March - could cause problems Season 6 with a definitive "Nope!" in response to a speculative TV Line article.

Aside from the COVID-plagued Season 3, every other season of The Rookie has premiered in September or October. But due to the now-concluded strikes, fans will be kept waiting until 2024 before Season 6 releases.

The Rookie Season 6 has been confirmed to premiere on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, on ABC, with no episode count confirmed just yet.

After Season 3 was unable to make the Fall 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show returned in January 2021 with a shortened 14-episode season that concluded in May 2021. As The Rookie faces similar circumstances due to the strikes, fans can expect a similar episode count for Season 6.

Who Will Return in The Rookie Season 6?

The Rookie Cast

It appears the full cast of The Rookie will be back for Season 6, including John Nolan actor Nathan Fillion who confirmed his return on Instagram as he celebrated the renewal of the ABC procedural drama.

Lucy Chen actress Melissa O'Neill has also confirmed her comeback on Instagram, sharing her excitement to see what her character and "all of The Rookie crew get up to during Season 6!"

Following the start of production, Tim Bradford actor Eric Winter posted on Instagram captioned, "The band is back together," alongside a video of several members of the cast on the Season 6 set, thus confirming their returns.

The Rookie Season 6 Cast

Fillion's Nolan, O'Neill's Chen, and Winter's Bradford were all pictured in tactical gear by an ambulance with Mekia Cox's Harper, Richard T. Jones's Grey, and Lisseth Chavez's Juarez, confirming their expected returns for Season 6. 

Although not present in the set video, Alyssa Diaz is also expected back as Angela Lopez along with Shawn Ashmore as her lawyer husband Wesley Evers and Jenna Dewan as Nolan's fiance Bailey Nune.

One cop whose fate remains up in the air is Tru Valentino's Aaron Thorsen, who ended Season 5 in critical condition after being shot, with the next season set to reveal whether the LAPD rookie will live or die.

The Season 5 finale also suggested a new threat may be on the way to be played by Orphan Black actor Kristian Bruun, with the mysterious man seemingly behind the attacks condcuted by Luke Moran in the latest episode.

The full list of cast members currently expected to return for The Rookie Season 6 can be seen below:

  • Nathan Fillion - John Nolan
  • Melissa O’Neil - Lucy Chen
  • Eric Winter - Tim Bradford
  • Alyssa Diaz - Angela Lopez
  • Mekia Cox - Nyla Harper
  • Richard T. Jones - Wade Grey
  • Lisseth Chavez - Celina Juarez
  • Tru Valentino - Aaron Thorsen
  • Jenna Dewan - Bailey Nune
  • Shawn Ashmore - Wesley Evers
  • Kristian Bruun - Mystery Man

What Will Happen in The Rookie Season 6?

The Rookie Season 5 Finale

The Rookie Season 5 finale set up a sinister plot to be explored in Season 6 as a group of coordinated attacks took place against the squad. Although Luke Moran was arrested for the attacks, John Nolan was quickly convinced the man in question was not capable of pulling off such a plan.

Season 6 appears set to introduce a new villain, played by Kristian Bruun, who had hired Luke and masterminded the attacks. Only time will tell what the unnamed villain has planned for the city, but his speech at the end of the Season 5 finale indicated he has a very specific target in mind:

"Weaponizing Luke Moran against the LAPD has driven every cop in the city away from our target. And by the time they realize the damage we've done, we'll be long gone."

Another major mystery going into Season 6 comes in the fate of Aaron Thorsen after he and Celina Juarez were attacked by a group of gunmen. While his initial surgery appeared successful, the final minutes of the episode raised alarm as a code blue was called from his hospital room, leaving his status up in the air.

On a more positive front, The Rookie may also have a wedding on the cards as John Nolan and Bailey Nunes have now been together since Season 4 and engaged since early in the latest season. Perhaps it may finally be time for the pair to tie the knot amid the squad's latest troubles.

Does The Rookie Still Have a Spin-Off?

The Rookie FEDs

The Rookie: Feds debuted in 2022 as the first spin-off to the procedural drama, with the series focussing on the oldest rookie ever to enter the FBI Academy, steering away from the LAPD focus of the flagship show.

The 22-episode first season of Feds ended in May 2023, but, unfortunately, Deadline confirmed in November the spin-off had been canceled after its freshman outing and will not be back for more episodes following the strikes.

After the spin-off featured appearances from several major Rookie characters -including Nolan, Chen, Bradford, Lopez, Grey, and more - any of Feds' major players could continue their stories on the flagship drama.

According to the report from Deadline, The Rookie: Feds' ratings, while not as strong as the original show, may have been respectable enough to earn a renewal had it not been for the impact of the writers' and actors' strikes. As such, the cancellation of Feds may not close the doors to another spin-off down the line.

The Rookie Season 6 will premiere on ABC on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

- In This Article: The Rookie (Season 6)
Release Date
February 20, 2024
Alyssa Diaz
Eric Winter
Nathan Fillion
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.