EXCLUSIVE: Nathan Fillion is returning to ABC with a new light crime drama series. In a competitive situation, ABC has nabbed The Rookie, starring and executive produced by the former Castle star, with straight-to-series order. The show, from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios, reunites Fillion with his Castle executive producer/co-showrunner Alexi Hawley.

Written by Hawley, The Rookie is inspired by a true story. Fillion plays John Nolan, the oldest rookie in the LAPD.  At an age where most are at the peak of their career, Nolan cast aside his comfortable, small town life and moved to L.A. to pursue his dream of being a cop.  Now, surrounded by rookies twenty years his junior, Nolan must navigate the dangerous, humorous and unpredictable world of a “young” cop, determined to make his second shot at life count.

Hawley and Fillion executive produce with The Mark Gordon Co’s Mark Gordon and Nicholas Pepper, along with Michelle Chapman and Jon Steinberg.

The Rookie draws parallels to another big package headlined by a proven  TV star that the Mark Gordon Co. took out two years ago, right after relaunching as an independent studio with backing from eOne. That package, drama Designated Survivor with Kiefer Sutherland attached to star, also garnered interest from multiple networks before landing at ABC with a commitment matching that for The Rookie‘s. It is now in its second season on the network.

In addition to Designated Survivor, on which the Mark Gordon Co. serves as co-studio with ABC Studios, MGC also produces Grey’s Anatomy and Quantico on ABC, Criminal Minds at CBS, Ray Donovan on Showtime, and the upcoming series  Youth & Consequences on YouTube. At ABC, MGC also has a put pilot commitment for Broken Record, executive produced by Meghan Trainor.

ABC

The lighthearted Castle remains ABC’s most successful procedural drama of the past decade. Since its shocking cancelation in May 2016 after eight seasons, Fillion returned to ABC with a recurring stint on flagship comedy series Modern Family last season. (He also signed on for a role on Season 2 of Netflix’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.)

Hawley got his break on Castle where he was a writer from 2009-12, landing his first producer credit. After a break, he returned to the series as executive producer/co-showrunner at the beginning of Season 8. He also served as executive producer/co-showrunner on The Following and created NBC’s State Of Affairs.

Fillion is repped by CAA, Michelle Chapman and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer; Hawley is with CAA, the Shuman Company and attorney Adam Kaller.