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The Rookie season 7: All we know from major star's absence, to plot and release date

Nathan Fillion leads the cast as John Nolan

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 24, 2024
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It's only been a few days since The Rookie's sixth season drew to a close with its action-packed finale, but we're already counting down the days until John Nolan and the rest of the LAPD gang are back on our screens. 

It's safe to say that season six has been a dramatic one, from Chenford's heartbreaking split and John and Bailey's wedding, to the conspiracy involving ruthless lawyer Monica Stevens and blackmailing therapist Dr Blair London reaching its climax. 

So, what can we expect from season seven? Here's all we know, from plot details and cast to the release date. 

WATCH: Did you see the action-packed finale?

The Rookie season 7 cast

We expect to see all the main cast members reprise their roles, including Nathan Fillion as John Nolan, Eric Winter as Tim Bradford, Melissa O'Neil as Lucy Chen, Richard T. Jones as Wade Grey, Alyssa Diaz as Angela Lopez, Mekia Cox as Nyla Harper, Tru Valentino as Aaron Thorsen, and Lisseth Chavez as Celina Juarez.

However, there is one major star who will be absent from the first few episodes. In a new interview with TV Line, showrunner Alexi Hawley revealed that Jenna Dewan, who plays Bailey Nune, will be missing from the first new episodes as she's pregnant in real life. "Jenna [Dewan]'s about to have a baby in real life, so we probably won't see [Bailey] for the first few episodes because of that," showrunner Alexi Hawley told TV Line.

Nathan Fillion and Jenna Dewan on The Rookie season four© Getty
Jenna Dewan will be missing from the first few episodes of season seven

What will happen in season 7? 

While fans will have to wait a little longer for an official synopsis, we do know that one or more of season six's villains will return following Oscar's prison break, Jason's return to LA and Monica's survival. 

Showrunner Alexi told TV Line: "They will definitely resurface at different times," before explaining that Jason may not be back due to Jenna Dewan's pregnancy. "But yes, I think we're looking at how we can spread stuff out so we're not just all diving into all of it at the beginning," she said. 

The series will return in 2025

Eric Winter, who plays Tim Bradford, also revealed what fans can expect from the new episodes. "I do know we're gonna see Tim back in the field training rookies, which I think is what people always loved about Tim, I think people liked Metro Tim, but I think people do like training officer Tim, so we'll get him back out in the field," he told HELLO! in an exclusive interview

On Tim's relationship with Lucy following their break-up in season six, he added: "I think we're going to see Tim and Lucy continue to learn how to navigate their feelings while being on the job. We'll see them pick up in a place where they've shown that they care about each other and now they have to figure out, 'can we give each other space to do our job and allow our feelings to stay in a safe place but not rush anything and hope one person doesn't go astray?'"

Lucy Chen and Tim Bradford © Getty
Lucy Chen and Tim Bradford's relationship will be explored in series 7

Season 7 release date 

There's good and bad news when it comes to season seven's release date. While fans will have to wait until January 2025 for the new series, the show will return with a nonstop run of 18 episodes.

Sharing his reaction to the decision, Eric told us that while he was "very nervous" and "bummed out" at first, the scheduling makes "perfect sense". 

Eric Winter as Tim Bradford© Raymond Liu
Eric Winter plays Tim Bradford in the series

"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 it," said the actor. 

"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."

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