‘Rookie Blue’ alum stars in executive producer Dick Wolf’s new CBS drama
As the “Law & Order” franchise nears its 30th anniversary, what happens when its mentor’s home network turns him down for another spinoff?
He shops it elsewhere.
Thus, executive producer Dick Wolf and CBS are in business with each other on “FBI,” premiering Tuesday, Sept. 25. As the series focuses on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York office, “Rookie Blue” alum Missy Peregrym and former “Law & Order” regular Jeremy Sisto return to the genre, with Zeeko Zaki and Ebonee Noel also prominent in the cast. Two-time Emmy winner (and “CSI: NY” veteran) Sela Ward joins the show in Episode 2.
Though the FBI has fueled other series, including ABC’s Efrem Zimbalist Jr.-starring 1965-74 drama, Wolf has a personal reason for wanting to delve into it. “My uncle was an FBI agent in the ‘50s and ‘60s,” he reveals, “and I grew up not only really sort of idolizing my uncle, but having a very, very warm feeling about all the agents I met back there. He was an SAC (Special Agent in Charge) in Nassau and Suffolk County, and it was a great role model to have growing up.”
Peregrym worked for Wolf as a guest on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” last year, and she allows that her earlier six-season role almost kept from accepting her new one. “One of the reasons why I said I wouldn’t do another procedural,” the actress reflects, “is because I loved Andy McNally in ‘Rookie Blue,’ and I couldn’t imagine playing another part that wouldn’t have so much of me in it … which is one of the reasons why, when the (‘FBI’) script came around, I didn’t read it. And Dick was like, ‘No one says “No” to me.’
“I was nervous to move to New York City,” Peregrym adds of the on-location filming, “and I was nervous to take on a job like this again, mostly because of the content as well. Weirdly enough, playing a cop on ‘Rookie Blue’ actually prepared me to do this. And you will see a difference in the characters because of that, because I’m not a rookie (here). It’s like I’ve been training the whole time just for this part.”
With some recent controversies involving the real FBI, Wolf leaves no doubt as to the series’ approach toward the bureau: “We’re celebrating the troops on the ground. The New York office is 1300 agents, and there are endless stories in there. I’m not trying to change hearts and minds. People are going to get a very realistic view of how that office operates, and the stresses. It’s a zero-tolerance FBI office. I mean, it’s a good day when nothing happens.”