'The Rookie' Boss Details How Show Will Change Following Afton Williamson Exit

ABC's The Rookie will look different when the show comes back for a second season. Nathan Fillion will have a new co-star following Afton Williamson's exit after Season 1 wrapped. Showrunner Alexi Hawley teased how the show will move forward without Williamson ahead of its premiere later this month.

The Rookie stars Fillion as John Nolan, the oldest rookie in the Los Angeles Police Department. After graduating from the police academy, he was paired with Williamson's Officer Talia Bishop, who dreamed of becoming chief of police one day. Bishop's departure gives the show "an opportunity to throw other obstacles in Nolan's way," Hawley told TVLine.

"We will pair him up with other interesting people, and then at some point bring in a new training officer for him," Hawley added.

Fillion will also have a new look.

"We go from long sleeves to short. And with no tie," Fillion told TVLine, referring to the new look rookies can wear after passing their six-month exam. "You have no idea what that means to my daily life."

During San Diego Comic-Con in July, Hawley told TVLine that Williamson's character will be written out of the show by having her transferred to a federal agency. In Season 1, Bishop got in trouble with her superiors for not mentioning that her foster brother is a felon on her police academy personal history questionnaire.

"She was never going to get a fair shake at the LAPD. So ultimately she's transferring over to a federal agency. There she can start with a clean slate and hopefully rocket to the top of the ladder," Hawley explained, adding that the character's exit is "organic."

Williamson left the show in June. Last month, Williamson told her fans on Instagram that she "experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers" while filming the pilot. She also accused recurring actor Demetrius Gross of sexual harassment and hair department head Sally Ciganovich of "racist commentary & Bullying" that "escalated into sexual assault at our wrap party."

Williamson said she reported the sexual harassment to the showrunner, but it was not reported to human resources. She said Ciganovish was fired, but not until after the sexual assault and not for the "outward racism/racially charged language and bullying behavior."

Williamson claimed no one asked her to participate in an investigation until June, after the show was renewed. She was also told Grosse was fired, but his name appeared on the call sheet for one of Season 1's last episodes.

When asked to return for Season 2, Williamson said she was promised everything was "handled."

"The investigation hadn't even begun and Season 2 had already started filming," Williamson wrote. "I turned it down and I walked. Now is the best time in the world to be a woman and I have a platform so it's time to use my Voice. Strength comes from within. It comes from Above. 'Greater is He that is within Me than he that is in the world.'"

The Rookie's second season starts on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.


Photo credit: ABC