The Rookie

The Rookie Season 7 Release Date Is Disappointing (But The Long Wait Will Be Worth It)

ABC unsurprisingly renewed The Rookie for a seventh season, but the network’s decision regarding the upcoming season’s premiere is rather peculiar and frustrating (at first glance). The procedural crime television series, created by Alexi Hawley, premiered in 2018 and has consistently been one of ABC’s top drama shows, which accounts for its continual renewals over the years. The Rookie has impressively run for six seasons (and over 100 episodes) and is heading towards its seventh. However, fans will have to wait quite a long time for new episodes following the season 6 finale of The Rookie.

The Rookie season 6 was shortened to 10 episodes (the lowest episode count for any season of the crime drama) and delayed until February 2024 due to production setbacks related to the 2023 strikes. So, the smaller and postponed season was to be expected and on par with most network shows. Of course, it was frustrating for some to wait over nine months for new episodes of The Rookie, but the elongated break made sense, whereas the lengthy hiatus between seasons 6 and 7 is confusing. Thankfully, ABC has a good explanation for The Rookie season 7’s delayed premiere.

The Rookie Season 7 Won’t Premiere Until 2025
ABC Is Holding The Show Until Midseason

Eric Winter as Tim Bradford and Melissa O'Neil as Lucy Chen in The Rookie season 6, episode 3.

ABC unveiled its schedule for the 2024-2025 television season, and, surprisingly, The Rookie was nowhere to be found in the fall lineup. Instead, Dancing with the Stars occupies its Tuesday timeslot. The show’s absence on the schedule is due to the network holding its seventh season’s premiere until midseason in 2025. So, fans will have to wait until the new year for new episodes of the police procedural crime drama series.

The hiatus between the season 6 finale (which is scheduled for May 21, 2024) and the season 7 premiere will last at least eight months, but the exact release date for The Rookie season 7 is unclear. It could debut in January, or the new episodes could premiere in March. January 2025 might be a safer bet, though, based on Disney Television Group President Craig Erwich’s comments following the reveal of ABC’s 2024-2025 schedule.

The Rookie’s Delayed Release Date Means Season 7 Will Air Uninterrupted
The Rookie Season 7 Will Contain 18 Episodes

Nathan Fillion as John Nolan in The Rookie season 6 finale.

With the news that The Rookie season 7 won’t premiere until early 2025 also came its episode count, and thankfully, the show is getting back to its standard longer seasons. Season 7 is set to feature 18 episodes, and according to Erwich, all 18 installments will air back-to-back, meaning there won’t be any breaks between airings. If ABC is aiming for a standard May finale, the season 7 premiere would likely air in mid to late January. Per TVLine, the Disney Television Group president explained:

“They’re going to go straight through [with no breaks or reruns], and that kind of momentum of original episodes week-in and week-out is just a very powerful engine for both [The Rookie and Will Trent].”

Like The Rookie season 7, Will Trent season 3 is also being held for midseason. The two shows will seemingly follow similar paths for the upcoming television season, which makes sense given they are both police procedural series and currently air back-to-back on Tuesday nights. It would not be surprising if The Rookie and Will Trent are grouped on the same night again in 2025, indicating that fans of both shows have 18 weeks of uninterrupted new episodes to look forward to. So, even though the long hiatus is disappointing at first glance, no one will be complaining come 2025.

Additionally, while some may think that ABC pushing The Rookie season 7 premiere and the Will Trent season 3 premiere to 2025 is bad news for the dramas, it is actually the exact opposite. The network has faith that both series have the ability to run for many more seasons. While speaking with Deadline, Erwich said:

“We held the return of these shows till midseason so they can have truly an uninterrupted run for that season, which I think is a very powerful weapon in terms of watching our shows. And with New Year’s Eve and all of our events that we have in December, January is one of the best times to launch new shows. So this idea of bringing back Will Trent and The Rookie and basically going without repeats, we felt was the best way to continue the strength of both of those shows. They both perform extraordinarily well and anticipate they’ll be on the schedule for a long time.”

What To Expect In The Rookie Season 7

Eric Winter as Tim Bradford and Melissa O'Neil as Lucy Chen in The Rookie season 6, episode 6.

The wait between The Rookie season 6 finale and the season 7 premiere might be a little more excruciating if the upcoming finale ends on a cliffhanger. But only time will tell how the episode concludes and if the story and characters are given closure. Hopefully, fans won’t have to spend months worrying about whether certain characters will survive or not (like Aaron Thorsen after the season 5 finale) and are left to just theorize about what comes next.

The season 6 finale may end with the hope that “Chenford” will get back together, meaning that Tim and Lucy will likely reunite in The Rookie season 7.

As for the “Chenford” side of things, viewers shouldn’t expect the couple to reunite in the last episode of The Rookie season 6. Tim Bradford and Lucy Chen have made little to no progress in mending their broken relationship in the two episodes following their breakup, and it should take time for Tim and Lucy to work through their complex issues. However, the season 6 finale may end with the hope that “Chenford” will get back together, meaning that Tim and Lucy will likely reunite in The Rookie season 7.

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