If you didn’t know The Rookie was inspired by a true story, you might have a hard time accepting this story of a man who abruptly—and dramatically—changes careers in his mid-40s. The official synopsis elaborates: “Starting over isn’t easy, especially for small-town guy John Nolan who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being an LAPD officer. As the force’s oldest rookie, he’s met with skepticism from some higher-ups, who see him as just a walking midlife crisis. If he can’t keep up with the young cops and the criminals, he’ll be risking lives, including his own.”
Veteran actor Nathan Fillion is on board as Nolan, and he might have some personal experience with the challenges of his character’s midlife career shift. In the final season of Castle—the long-running Fillion series that came to an end in 2016—the actor tried his hand at a new career pursuit, tackling producer responsibilities for the first time. While he continued in this direction with a subsequent web series (Con Man), The Rookie is his first attempt to launch a production on the scale of a prime time network drama in his new capacity as producer.
With that in mind, the final line of The Rookie’s synopsis is equally applicable to John Nolan and the actor inhabiting the role: “If he can use his life experience, determination, and sense of humor to give him an edge, he may just become a success in this new chapter of his life.”
The Rookie airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET this fall on CTV.