The Rookie has been providing ABC with steady, reliable ratings in its first season, and the network is apparently grateful. It put in a back-order for the police drama this week, bringing its first season to a total of 20 episodes. On ABC, this counts as a full-season order, while on other networks it takes at least 22 episodes to make it official.
Still, by any metric this is a victory for the show. The Rookie is reportedly holding steady in a difficult time-slot — Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET. The show has an average of 8.3 million viewers, which is well above last fall's 4.5 million in the same slot. Accounting for DVRs and other delayed viewings with the Live+7 Day rating, the show is pulling in 9.7 million viewers per week.
Additionally, the show has achieved a 36 percent gain in the key demographic of adults ages 18-49, rising from a 1.1 Nielsen rating to a 1.5. With Live+7 Day ratings, it is at a 1.8, making it ABC's best series debut in that time slot in nearly eight years.
All of this statistical math adds up to good news for fans of The Rookie. The show stars Fillion as John Nolan, a 40-year-old who joins the Los Angeles Police Department. As the oldest rookie on the force, he is mocked by his peers and his superiors alike. At the same time, he faces the dangerous world of a cop and the pressures of a brand new career, as well as a fractured family back home.
Fans were delighted to hear about the full-season order for The Rookie. The show announced the news in a tweet, and the responses were ecstatic.
"Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Rookie on the full season pickup!!!" it read.
Great! It's a great show! Hope it sticks around for a while!!— Oscar Chattman Jr (@scoot1105) November 5, 2018
"Great! It's a great show! Hope it sticks around for a while!!" one fan wrote.
"Was there ever any doubt that the #TheRookie would become an @ABCNetwork hit? No of course not," one fan wrote. "Great job." They tagged Fillion, Afton Williamson and Melissa O'Neil in the post.
As the fall TV season gets underway, several other shows have gotten extra orders as well. NBC freshman drama New Amsterdam was also bumped up to a full season. The show is a procedural, making it easy to tack on extra episodes to the end.
The same happened later on for NBC's other new drama, Manifest, which has a growing cult following. Since the show is more continuity based, it was be difficult for the writers to extend a season that is already airing. Ultimately, NBC caved into that demand.
The Rookie airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.