O'Neil, who plays newcomer Lucy Chen, said she had never worked in a production environment with so many women, from the screenwriting room to lighting professionals to the "almost all-female camera department." On screen, half of the eight main characters are women, played by Mercedes Mason, Afton Williamson and Alyssa Diaz, as well as Melissa O'Neil.
The greater female presence in all aspects of the series, including technical positions such as the image-editing team, was a deliberate choice of creator Alexi Hawley. The producer wanted to "create a diverse cast" around the protagonist Nathan Fillion, with whom he worked on "Castle", to reflect the characteristics of the city of LA.
The list of credits of "The Rookie", shown in Portugal on the AXN channel, shows that half of the writers are women, the editing team is exclusively female and there are eight producers in the first 13 episodes.
"The environment we are in now, with the 'Time's Up' and 'Me Too' moves, [mostram que] the future is feminine, "said Mercedes Mason, who plays captain Zoe Anderson, in a series where a number of leading roles are handed to female characters." We're going to lead and it will be glorious, "he said.
The 'Me Too' and 'Time's Up' movements, which in late 2017 gave visibility to sexual harassment and gender inequality in the entertainment industry, led to changes in studio policies and opened up more opportunities for women, especially in positions off the screen.
Alyssa Diaz, actress who gives body to veteran agent Angela Lopez, said that more feminine production introduced changes in the work environment, leading to greater "openness" of ideas. "I feel it's a more inclusive collaborative effort," he said, "because it's easy to go to work and feel like we're in the boys' club."
"The Rookie" is based on the true story of a divorced man who moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in the police academy after age 40, being accepted into one of only two squares in the city where rookies can have more than 37 years.
The character Nathan Fillion, who was involved in creating the series and is one of the executive producers, was known for the role of Richard Castle, who played for eight seasons.
The Canadian actor gave "all the freedom" to Alexi Hawley to create a diverse cast around him. In addition to having a balance in the division of positions between men and women, Hawley also sought out characters of various ethnicities, something uncommon in a series produced by a traditional television channel.
Titus Makin Jr., an African-American who plays Jackson West, felt "surprised" that the television network "allowed so many different ethnicities in the regular cast," explaining that his recent experience was the opposite. "In the past, it would be a very white cast and then some recurring ethnic stars," he said.
Singer-Canadian Melissa O'Neil highlighted the role of screenwriters in the composition of diverse characters, and considered "excellent work" her representation of different ages, ethnicities and sexes "in a way that allows them to be human beings rather than stereotypes" .
"The Rookie" audiences in the United States increased significantly in November, reaching 7.3 million viewers.
ABC announced the order for seven more episodes for a full first season, totaling twenty.
The series was sold to 160 territories, including Portugal through the AXN channel.