THE ROOKIE: Shawn Ashmore and Tru Valentino on Reaching 100 Episodes, Their First Days on Set, and the Series' Newfound Digital Success - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE ROOKIE: Shawn Ashmore and Tru Valentino on Reaching 100 Episodes, Their First Days on Set, and the Series’ Newfound Digital Success

February 26, 2024 by  

THE ROOKIE episode 100 interviews

THE ROOKIE – ABC, eOne and ABC Signature came together with the cast, crew and creative team of “The Rookie” to celebrate 100 episodes of the hit drama with a cake-cutting ceremony on the set in Hollywood on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. Season 6 of “The Rookie” premieres Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 9/8c on ABC. (Disney/Raymond Liu)

THE ROOKIE celebrates its 100th episode on Tuesday, February 26 as Nolan (Nathan Fillion) and Bailey (Jenna Dewan) tie the knot. And, off-screen, it’s milestone fewer shows are reaching—due to shorter season orders, truncated runs, and an ever-changing industry.

“Honestly, I’ve been working in this industry for 25 years, and I’ve never been on a show that’s been 100 episodes,” Shawn Ashmore, who plays Wesley, tells Give Me My Remote. “So it’s amazing.”

“To be on a show that is successful enough to last that long is an amazing gift, but then also to be on a show that you want to continue to do and make more episodes?” he continues. “I know that you hear that a lot: Oh, this show is great and everyone has a fun time. But it’s a pleasure to go to work every day. And the fact that the show is successful, as well, is pretty special. So, for me, it’s a dream come true.”

“I’ve been in the industry for maybe three years, and I’ve never worked on a show that has 100 episodes, either,” Tru Valentino, who plays Aaron, deadpans.

“You’re hitting it early, man,” Ashmore responds with a laugh. “You’re good. It’s a good milestone.”

The big moment for the series comes as the show is breaking out in a major way. In addition to its on-air success at ABC, the series serves as the network’s #2 drama on Hulu. (Additionally, over 500 million hours of viewing of the series have occurred on Hulu since its premiere…with nearly half of the streams coming in the past year.) 

“The reach that the show has is just crazy,” Valentino says. “Like, it’s global. There’s so many people from other countries that are constantly messaging me, and just talking about how much they love the show…it’s really cool. But I think it’s time for us to go to number one.”

“This is what’s crazy about the human condition: I heard number two, and I was like, ‘Yes, that’s exciting,’” Ashmore adds. “And then, ‘What’s number one?’ I don’t know; It doesn’t matter.”

“The thing that I found really interesting is that—even in the last year—I found just a lot more day-to-day, out in the world, recognition for the show,” he continues. “And I’ve been traveling and finding out how popular the show is internationally.”

When Ashmore meets fans, he asks how they discovered the series if they joined later in its run. “Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s TikTok,” he shares. “Which is crazy. I think there’s a huge presence on TikTok and that’s drawing people to Hulu to stream.”

“It’s always exciting, especially as a fan of television myself, when you find a show that has like 100 episodes to watch,” he continues. “It’s kind of great to not only find a new show, but then there’s also seasons upon seasons to binge.”

And in honor of the 100th episode, Ashmore and Valentino shared memories of their very first days on set:


Oh, man, I remember that because it wasn’t that long ago. My first day on THE ROOKIE, we did scenes where Aaron had to talk to Harper for the first time and basically stand his ground [saying,] “This why I’m here. I’m not just a spoiled brat or whatever. I went through what I had to go through to get here.” And, for me, it was intimidating because I had never worked on a TV show before. [There was] the crew around me and then doing [the scene] with Mekia [Cox, who plays Harper], and the scene and stuff like that. And then after the scene, they’re like, “Oh, you gotta, like, have some emotions.” And I’m just like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” So that was a little nerve-wracking. But the director [Lisa Demaine] was awesome. And she made me feel very comfortable. And by the end of that day, I think some of the crew members were like, “Hey man, good job [on] your first day.” So that was cool.


So, I sort of have two “first day” memories. My very first day on the show was a one-off scene; I think my character was supposed to show up a little bit later in the first season. But [THE ROOKIE creator] Alexi [Hawley] had written a scene so I popped in and I think I had like two lines or something like that. I don’t really remember that day. I remember Alexi coming to my trailer and being like, “Hey, we’re working together!” because we’ve worked together on THE FOLLOWING before, so we had a really good history; I got to know him very well on that show. 

But my first day that I really remember, [the one] I felt like it was an official first day, was a scene with Alyssa [Diaz, who plays Angela] and Titus [Makin Jr., who played Jackson], where Wesley’s briefcase has been stolen and he’s chasing the thief. And Angela stops him and is like, “What are you doing?” And I’m like, “I’m not the crook. That’s the crook.” And then we get in a fight and it was just kind of [that] initial, I guess, sexual tension which became the basis for their relationship.

[Wesley] was kind of an a–hole, demanding…basically, I was, like, citing law, and she’s like, “Sir, calm down.” So we have this tension. And there’s this funny bit, the guy that actually stole my briefcase is watching us interact and kind of yell at each other and he’s like, “Oh, that’s great.” And Titus’ character was like, “What do you mean?” And he’s like, “My ex and I used to fight like that. They totally like each other.” And then it just kind of took off, so immediately. 

I really loved the character and the dynamic. It just kind of hit. I just came on to do a couple episodes, so I had no idea that six seasons later, I’d still be on the show. But I had a good time. I felt the chemistry with Alyssa. And I really liked that first day of work. It felt like a really good smooth transition. And I understood the character. I understood what this couple needed to be to kind of work and, yeah, it’s fun. And that was six years ago.

THE ROOKIE, Tuesdays, 9/8c, ABC


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