‘The Rookie: Feds’: Niecy Nash-Betts Talks Doing Things ‘the Simone Clark Way’

Niecy Nash-Betts as FBI rookie Simone Clark in 'The Rookie: Feds' key art
Fall Preview

Empathetic, exasperating, and oh-so-eager, the character of Simone Clark — the oldest rookie in the FBI Academy — was thoroughly entertaining when we met her last spring on a Rookie two-parter. Now, Niecy Nash-Betts brings the former guidance counselor, mom of twins, and out-of-the-box thinker to her own spinoff.

“She’s still allergic to listening. She feels like there is more than one way to get a job done,” the actress notes. “There’s the FBI way and the Simone Clark way. She feels like, ‘Not that I’m trying to buck the system, but why would we do that when we could just simply do this?’”

Will the Bureau ever be the same? Here, Nash-Betts tells us more about The Rookie: Feds.

This role seems like it was penned just for you. How comfortable are you in Simone’s shoes?

Niecy Nash-Betts: Man, I love Simone Clark’s shoes. I love that she is fun and funny. I love that she dances to the beat of her own drum, but at the same time she is intentional and driven. With less than 1 percent of African American women working for the FBI, I had not seen the story through this lens. I love that we find her in her second act. So she’s making a life choice, a different career choice at 48. That’s the time when most people are counting the days to their retirement. She’s like, “No, let me begin again.”

Where do we pick up with Simone?

We pick up with her graduating from Quantico and waiting for her assignment. She heads to Los Angeles to start her new life.

How much does Feds explore her personal life?

You’re going to get to see a lot of it. We are unpacking the relationship she has with her father, Cutty, played by Frankie Faison. You get to see her start to explore her love life. Simone is an equal opportunity dater. It’s going to be an interesting ride in that regard. One of my first love interests is an amazing guest that will surprise everybody!

The Rookie: Feds, Series Premiere, Tuesday, September 27, 10/9c, ABC

This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2022 Fall Preview issue. For more first looks at fall’s new shows, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.