‘The Rookie’ & Will Trent’ Held: What Midseason Launch Means For Future Of ABC Dramas

When a reliable performer like The Rookiewhich has always been on the fall schedule if not delayed by a pandemic or strike, is suddenly not in a network’s starting lineup for the season, fans understandably would be worried.

Magnifying their concerns is the fact that The Rookie is headed into its seventh season, which is when a lot of broadcast series are canceled these days, including two ABC dramas, Station 19 and The Good Doctorthis year.

Meanwhile, Will Trent, which launched in midseason two years ago, had its first chance to get on the ABC fall schedule but didn’t get it.

Keeping the two dramas on the bench does not signal a lack of confidence in them.

“The opposite,” Disney TV Group President Craig Erwich told Deadline in an interview tied to the Disney upfront presentation.

His assessment was reaffirmed by the Disney upfront presentation, with The Rookie star Nathan Fillion and Will Trent‘s Ramón Rodríguez both featured prominently in the opening montage highlighting the company’s biggest hits and were also both at the event.

“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, Erwich said. “And with New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and all of our events that we have in December, January is one of the best times to launch new shows.”

January 2023 is where Will Trent got off to a strong start.

“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,” Erwich added. “They both perform extraordinarily well and anticipate they’ll be on the schedule for a long time.”

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