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The Rookie on the Bubble: Keep or Cut?

Rookie Renewed or Cancelled

By mid-May, the broadcast networks will need to make some tough calls as to which series will return for the 2019-20 TV season, and which… won’t.

As that deadline inches closer, TVLine is singling out several “bubble” shows and sizing up their prospects — based in large part on their creative strides (and stumbles) and future potential, but also with a requisite nod to the cold, hard Nielsen numbers.

Launching this year’s KEEP OR CUT series is ABC’s bid to stay in the Nathan Fillion business….

THE SHOW | The Rookie (Season 1 airs Tuesdays at 10/9c)

THE CASE FOR KEEPING | Described as a “light procedural” from the day it nabbed a straight-to-series order, The Rookie is precisely that — a breezy mix of police and character work that never gets terribly heavy. And among current cop shows, it has something unique to offer in the way of rookie/TO “teaching moments” that at times educate us, the audience, as much as the “boots.” Fillion and Afton Williamson deliver terrific and fun banter as the titular 40something noob, John Nolan, and TO Talia Bishop (aka 2018’s Best Non-Romantic Couple), while Melissa O’Neill and Eric Winter place a close second with Chen and Bradford’s mercurial student/teacher dynamic.

THE CASE FOR CUTTING | For an occupant of ABC’s infamous Tuesday Death Slot, the numbers are not awful. Averaging 4.2 million viewers and just over a 0.7 demo rating through the first 14 of its 20 episodes, The Rookie marks an improvement over Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, For the People Season 1 and three other time slot predecessors before that, while the boost it gets from DVR playback is among broadcast-TV’s beefiest. Alas, out of all ABC dramas it only tops How to Get Away With Murder, which has its own “bubble” battle to fight. On the creative front, The Rookie‘s third boot/TO pairing, of West and Lopez, has yet to prove as engaging as the others, and we’re still waiting for Mercedes Mason to get more to do as Captain Anderson.

Vote below, then state your own case for keeping or cutting The Rookie.