EXCLUSIVE: Melanie Nicholls-King Speaks on Success, Future of Rookie Blue

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Melanie Nicholls-King plays police officer Noelle Williams on Rookie Blue, one of the only network shows this summer to be renewed for a second season.

In an exclusive interview with TV Fanatic, the amiable actress touched on a number of topics, including what fans can expect when this series returns and her history with HBO's The Wire...

Noelle Williams Photo

How did this role come about?
My agent sent me the breakdown and the sides. I put myself on tap and sent it to the casting director in Toronto, where I'm actually originally from. My family is there, so I jumped at the chance to go back home and audition.

The first thing I did during the audition was talk about my kid, as everything felt fun and natural. We almost forgot to have me actually read through a scene [laughs]. I got the official word in June 2009 and my most awesome husband in the world, stepped right in, took care of our son and I went up there to shoot.

Most network summer shows didn't fare well or get renewed. Why made Rookie Blue different?
You never know what the audience will relate to, it's true. But the numbers were so great out of the gate. We had great looking people, for starters, along with storylines, acting.. Our fans are the best, too. They do everything to stay connected to us, even with the show on hiatus.

The show was billed as "Grey's Anatomy in a police station." Did you mind that comparison?
There was a little bit of pressure. But, on the other side, we already had that hook for the audience. It was a great marketing tool. Of course, then there was: now you have to live up to that!

What can you tell us about season two?
We've filmed eight episodes so far. There's a new character played by Camille Sullivan who comes in and and makes an impact. Overall, storylines are edgier, grittier. They're really exploring how far they can take these characters, all of whom are are going to a deeper place.

Noelle will continue to try and have a baby, among other interesting developments that happen along the way.

I have to ask about The Wire. Do you feel at all hypocritical, having spent your time on that show pressuring Kima to quit the force... and then here you are, an officer yourself?
[Laughs]. That's a really great question.  Let's just say I love that people are enjoying whatever work I'm doing. I love when fans of either show ask me about the other one.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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