The Rookie spin-off dealt huge boost ahead of premiere after backdoor pilot reception

The Rookie promo: "Backstabbers"

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A brand new cast of characters joined LAPD rookie John Nolan (played by Nathan Fillion) and the rest of the team in the latest episode of ABC cop drama, Simone. The first half of a two-part backdoor pilot introduced Niecy Nash as Simone Clark, who is expected to lead her own spin-off to The Rookie after her successful debut very soon.

The latest episode of The Rookie scored the second-highest ratings of this season, meaning good news for the planned Simone spin-off.

Simply titled Simone, the first half of a two-part case raked in an impressive 3.8 million total viewers.

Most episodes this season have scored 2-3 million viewers, so fans should expect to see a lot more of Simone by the end of the year.

ABC has yet to give the spin-off a full series order, but the signs are looking good after Niecy’s impressive debut.

Best known for series such as Claws, When They See Us and as a guest host for The Masked Singer, Niecy is set to star as the FBI’s oldest new trainee.

She’ll be taking on some high-stakes cases too big for the police, and could also be giving a helping hand to the LAPD’s oldest recruit, John.

Last week’s episode also introduced her supporting cast, Felix Solis and Kat Foster.

Ozark star Felix portrays Agent Matthew Garza and Kat plays Agent Casey Fox, who were both on the scene after John and Lucy Chen (Melissa O’Neil) narrowly escaped an exploding bomb.

When they realise one of their suspects, Ezekiel Freemont (Keith Machekanyanga), used to have Simone as a school guidance counsellor, she’s called in to investigate.

She later reaches out to her estranged father, Christopher “Cutty” Clark (Frankie Faison) for guidance, who is also tipped to be joining the spin-off’s main cast.

Part two of The Rookie’s introduction to its first spin-off could explain why Simone decides to up sticks and leave Washington to help the LAPD with its more pressing investigations.

As The Rookie has already been renewed for a season five, there could be crossovers galore if ABC decides to give the go-ahead for Simone to continue.

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In addition to the show’s impressive ratings bump, fans have also given Simone and her supporting cast a warm reception after her Sunday night debut.

Kristen Famiano tweeted: “Simone Clark on #TheRookie is my new favourite TV character.

“@NiecyNash plays a 48-year-old School Counsellor who leaves education to join the FBI.”

@likedbymany said: “I like Simone Clark already. Is this the intro to the spin off?”

And @Lizabit7 asked: “Just watched last night’s ep of #TheRookie. Where do I sign up for more Simone content?”

However, some others weren’t so convinced and will be waiting to see what else the proposed spin-off has on offer before they tune in.

“I didn’t mind this spin-off pilot,” @rosilleri said.

“But #Simone alone isn’t enough to make me watch, I’ll wait to see who else will be in it.”

After The Rookie’s track record of guest stars, including Pete Davidson, and Nathan’s former Castle co-star Tamala Jones, there’s no doubt Simone’s spin-off will deliver.

The Rookie season 4 continues Sundays on ABC in the USA and Thursdays on Sky Witness in the UK.

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