By Maureen Lee Lenker
October 02, 2019 at 04:15 PM EDT

The Rookie (TV series)

There’s a new training officer in town.

Once Upon a Time and Chicago Med alum Mekia Cox is joining the cast of The Rookie as John Nolan’s (Nathan Fillion) new training officer, Nyla Harper. In “Warriors and Guardians,” Nyla Harper proves a new challenge for Officer Nolan. The two get off to a rocky start, thanks to her unconventional approach to police work given her background as an undercover detective.

Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

The Rookie launched its second season on a new night this past week, clocking in with some reassuring numbers. With 4.1 million total viewers, the sophomore series matched its first season average and finale ratings, while also giving ABC its biggest premiere numbers in that Sunday time slot in four years.

Cox’s addition to the cast is part of several shake-ups in season 2, including the introduction of Ali Larter and Harold Perrineau with extended guest arcs. Cox joins the series after the departure of Afton Williamson, who portrayed his first training officer Talia Bishop. Williamson announced at the end of the summer that she would not be returning to The Rookie of her own volition amidst her allegations that she experienced harassment and bullying on set. eOne, the production company behind the series, found no evidence of wrong-doing in its investigation.

Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Williamson’s departure was addressed in the season 2 premiere, which kicked off with a two-week time jump from last year’s finale. Fillion’s John Nolan addressed her exit in a quick line of dialogue, noting that his return to duty after administrative leave would not be “quite the same without Talia.” As for Bishop’s whereabouts, Nolan’s girlfriend Jessica (Sarah Shahi) explained that she had taken a job with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, after realizing she would never have the career she longed for at the LAPD.

Cox will make her debut in the Oct. 20 episode. The Rookie airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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The Rookie (TV series)

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