The Good Doctor's first season comes to a close Monday, but when the show comes back in the fall, it might be on another night. The Freddie Highmore-starring series is so successful that ABC might move it to another night to help launch a new show.
When ABC executives meet before the May upfront presentation before advertisers, the network will cement its schedule for the 2018-2019 TV season. That could involve keeping The Good Doctor in the Monday 10 p.m. ET timeslot, right after Dancing With The Stars. Another option would be moving it to another night to help attract viewers to a new show.
However, it looks like ABC is more likely to stick with the former option.
"I'm not going to be that eager to move it," ABC Entertainment Group president Channing Dungey told AdWeek, citing the show's value to ABC affiliates' news broadcasts and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Then again, Dungey said the option of moving it to help a new series is still attractive.
ABC renewed The Good Doctor earlier this month, making one of the easiest decisions of the 2017-2018 TV season. The show is the top-rated freshman drama of the season. It has proved that audiences are willing to watch a scripted drama at 10 p.m., an hour that has become notoriously difficult for networks in the age of DVRs and streaming.
The Good Doctor averages 16.9 million viewers, including DVR viewers, making it the most-watched new ABC series since Lost started in 2004. The show is even earning a better rating in the 18-49 demographic than Grey's Anatomy, averaging a 2.39, reports AdWeek.
"As a development community, we got caught up in trying to figure out how to one-up ER. And it was gimmick- or plot-oriented, and not character- or theme-driven," Jason Clodfelter, co-president of The Good Doctor producer Sony Pictures Television, told AdWeek. "That's why people have responded to The Good Doctor. It didn't feel like it was setting out to be something other than just be honest."
The Good Doctor stars Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a resident at the fictional St. Bonaventure Hospital in San Jose with autism and savant syndrome. The show also features a diverse roster of actors and characters, all of whom have become fan favorites, including Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neil Melendez and Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Browne. Richard Schiff also stars as Shaun's mentor, Dr. Aaron Glassman.
The series is based on the South Korean drama of the same name by Park Jae-bum. Actor Daniel Dae Kim picked up the American TV rights to the project and brought on House creator David Shore to develop it for ABC and Sony.
Next up for The Good Doctor is taking over international markets. ABC and Sony sent Highmore to Australia, where the show has helped out Channel Seven in the ratings since it debuted last year.
"Shaun speaks not only to people who have autism, or are close to those who do, but to anyone who feels somewhat different, or feels like society has maybe not dealt them a fair hand, or that they've been discriminated against in the work place," Highmore told The Sydney Morning Herald. "He speaks to people who feel that they haven't had their fair shot in life, or their chance to shine."0comments
The Good Doctor season finale airs on ABC March 26 at 10 p.m. ET.
Photo credit: ABC