“The Rookie” has been a runaway hit on ABC, and you don’t need cable TV to start watching every episode.
The series is inspired by a true story. What happens when the oldest rookie in the LAPD hits the streets with police officers 20 years his junior? John Nolan is in his mid-40s. He has to rely on his life experience and sense of humor to keep up.
Some higher-ups see Officer Nolan as “small-town guy John Nolan” who is in a walking midlife crisis. But after a life-altering incident, Nolan is pushing hard to become an LAPD officer.
Skepticism aside, being the force’s oldest rookie comes with risks both physically and professionally.
The series stars Nathan Fillion as Officer John Nolan. Mekia Cox, Alyssa Diaz, Richard T. Jones, Titus Makin, Eric Winter, Melissa O’Neill, and Richard T. Jones are his co-stars.
At the Los Angeles Police Department, Officer John Nolan and his colleagues on patrol investigate a serial killer, an illegal firearm operation, drug busts, and robbery suspects.
The series doesn’t just follow Nolan as a police officer. Viewers will meet Detective Lopez, Officer Lucy Chen, and Detective Harper as they navigate the streets of L.A.
You can jump down to the summary of where and how to watch The Rookie without cable at the bottom of the article, or read through all your options.
Best Way to Stream Live: You can stream “The Rookie” live on DIRECTV STREAM. You can get a 5-day free trial and $10 off for the first three months of service.
Best Way to Watch On-Demand: Hulu has new episodes of “The Rookie” one day after premiering on live TV. You can watch past seasons as well. Hulu has a 30-day free trial.
New episodes of “The Rookie” premier every Tuesday on ABC. Thanks to a wave of cord cutting, and the ongoing revival of TV antennas, there are a half dozen ways to watch ABC live without a cable TV provider.
How to Watch The Rookie Without Cable
To get started, you just need an Internet connection. Once you get a free trial of a live TV streaming service, download the app to your Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast or Apple TV.
You can easily cancel a streaming service online, and jump to a competing service whenever you want. Some cord-cutters even jump from platform to platform throughout the year just to catch certain shows.
Here’s a quick look at each of these services.
Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV has over 75 live TV channels, including ESPN, A&E, and History.
You can watch live TV on up to two screens at once. Subscribers get more than just live TV channels to watch. You’ll also have full access to ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu’s on-demand library.
Hulu with Live TV comes with unlimited Cloud DVR so you can record sports, news, movies or whatever else you want.
A subscription costs $69.99 per month.
Hulu’s channel lineup also has local NBC, ABC and FOX stations across the U.S. You can look over the channel lineup of Hulu with Live TV to see if it’s a good fit.
ACC Network, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, FS1, NBC Sports and Golf Channel are included in the standard channel package. AMC, HGTV, History and Investigation Discovery are some of the entertainment channels.
You can watch live TV on three screens at once. Subscribers get 1000 hours of Cloud DVR.
A subscription costs $74.99 per month. A regional sports fee of $10.99 to $13.99 per month is included. fuboTV has a library of on-demand movies, and TV shows.
fubo works on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV devices. There are mobile apps for iPhones, Android and you can watch on web browsers.
A DIRECTV STREAM subscription includes local ABC stations in its entry-level channel bundle.
The Entertainment plan has 75+ channels for $74.99 per month. Subscribers can watch live TV on unlimited screens.
You can sign up for a free 5-day trial without any obligations. New subscribers can get $10 off for the first three months of service.
ESPN, ESPN2 and FS1 are included in the channel lineup. You get unlimited Cloud DVR.
Subscribers can get three months of Showtime, STARZ, Cinemax and HBO Max for free before the monthly rates kick in.
DIRECTV STREAM works on Roku, Android TV, Fire TV devices, Apple TV and smartphones and tablets. Subscriptions run month to month and so you can cancel whenever you want.
You can look over the different channel lineups before deciding whether to sign up.
Vidgo carries local ABC stations as part of its 100+ channel live TV lineup. A&E, ESPN, History channel and Science Channel are part of the channel lineup.
Subscribers can stream on up to three devices at once. Vidgo has apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV devices such as Google Chromecast. You can watch live TV on three screens at once.
A Vidgo subscription costs $69.99 per month. You can look over the channel lineup before deciding whether to sign up.
The ABC stations are:
- WLS in Chicago
- KFSN in Fresno, Calif.
- KTRK in Houston, Texas
- KABC in Los Angeles
- WABC in New York
- WPVI in Philadelphia
- WTVD in Raleigh-Durham
- KGO in the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose
If you live in or around one of those cities, then you should be able to stream ABC through Sling Blue.
Sling Blue costs $40 per month. Customers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco will pay $5 more per month. Those five markets also have local NBC and FOX stations.
Sling TV offers 50 hours of free Cloud DVR to all subscribers. All Sling Blue subscribers can watch live TV on three screens at once.
Sling TV works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV (4th generation). When you sign up for Sling TV, there are no contracts, or extra fees like cable TV.
YouTube TV has 128 channels for $72.99 per month.
Subscribers get local ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations. The channel lineup includes ESPN, Oxygen Network, USA Network, Comedy Central, FOX News, CNN, and Telemundo.
You can watch TV or on-demand content on up to three screens at once. Customers get unlimited Cloud DVR.
There are YouTube TV apps for Roku, Apple TV and a mobile app for Chromecast. You can stream on up to two devices at once. You can try out YouTube TV with a free 7-day trial.
Where can I watch The Rookie for free?
You can watch Season 1 of “The Rookie” for free, and the latest episodes, by using streaming services and a TV antenna.
- For Season 1, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Hulu and get every episode on-demand. A Hulu subscription costs $7.99 per month.
- With a TV antenna, you can start watching the latest episodes of “The Rookie” for free on your local ABC station.
You can use the free tool at AntennasDirect to see whether ABC is available in your area. Local channels broadcast digital signals in 1080i or 720p, which is High Definition.
If you are new to TV antennas, here is a list of resources that I have written to get you started.
- How to Choose the Best TV Antenna
- How to Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
- Review: The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- Review: The Best Outdoor TV Antennas
Where and How to Watch The Rookie without cable
You get $10 off per month for the first three months of service in addition to the free trial. A subscription costs $74.99 per month after the promotional period.
Hulu has a full library of “The Rookie” on-demand. You can get a 30-day free trial, and pay $7.99 per month for a subscription.