The Good Doctor 2017, ABC’s sensational, is officially the breakout hit of 2017

The Good Doctor 2017 movie, ABC’s sensational, inspirational medical drama, is officially the breakout hit of 2017.

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The Good Doctor full movie 2017, ABC‘s sensational, inspirational medical drama, is officially the breakout hit of 2017. Before its premiere, it seemed like typical genre fare: photogenic doctors + wise mentor + high-stakes medical situations to keep the adrenaline pumping. But as fans and critics soon realized, the heart of the series, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, wasn’t interested in drama-filled hookups that rival Grey’s Anatomy; he was on a much simpler mission: to make it through each day and do some good while he’s at it.

Shaun Murphy’s core struggle is so universal that the show premiered to shockingly high numbers: 11.22 million viewers and a 2.2 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic. That made the show the network’s most-watched Monday drama premier since Dangerous Minds 21 years ago and the highest-rated since Castle 8 years ago. It was a stellar bow, and one that truly surprised ABC, but it was nothing network executives could fully celebrate just yet.

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“We were all anticipated with bated breath for Week 2 [ratings] since Week 1 is really a function of, did enough people hear about the show? Is awareness high enough?” Victoria Dummer, ABC’s head of current series programming, tells TV Guide. “Week 2 is, they’re with us, they enjoyed it, they’re on the ride. They’re there for this journey with this character and this show.”

In Week 2, The Good Doctor 2017 defied expectations again, pulling in 10.93 million and a 2.2, after which it received a full-season pickup for 18 episodes. The retention is especially amazing when given that there are more than 400 TV shows airing a year at this point and more ways to watch than ever, making it even more challenging — especially in broadcast — not just to break out from the pack, but to sustain it. “We were just thrilled,” Dummer says. “We’re breaking a lot of records for ourselves.”

Its third episode, which aired Oct. 9, dethroned The Big Bang Theory as the most-watched show on TV that week, with 18.2 million to Big Bang’s 17.9 million.

But, despite the odds that few series overcome, more than 2 months later, The Good Doctor 2017 full movie is the most-watched drama of the season, overshadowing CBS stalwart NCIS and NBC’s This Is Us with an average of 18.08 million viewers, which includes seven-day DVR playback. It’s the most-watched 10 o’clock show on television — an hour many use to catch up on other shows or get ready for bed.

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It regularly adds an average of 7 million viewers and a big 2.0 gain in the all-important demo with a whole week of delayed viewing. Its third episode, which aired Oct. 9, dethroned The Big Bang Theoryas the most-watched show on TV that week, with 18.2 million to Big Bang’s 17.9 million. It’s ABC’s greatest fall freshman show in 13 years — when Lost and Desperate Housewives scored a massive one-two punch for the network — and the first huge medical hit since ABC’s stalwart Grey’s Anatomy debuted in spring 2005.

But The Good Doctor online‘s triumph isn’t self-explanatory; the numbers and warm fan reception were forecasted by some, including those behind it.

“It’s not like I expected it to die,” showrunner and executive producer David Shore says with a laugh. “I was proud of what we had done. It touched me, it touched the people who had seen it beforehand, and so I thought it would touch [a wide audience]. The extent to which that has happened has taken me surprise and it’s really gratifying.”

Shore’s surprise is a bet, particularly when one thinks the three-year, two-network journey The Good Doctor online endured to appear on the small screen. Based on a 2013 Korean drama of the same name, The Good Doctor 2017 movie follows Dr. Shaun Murphy at his new job at St. Bonaventure Hospital. The hospital board is worry about his ability to communicate and perform effectively, except for his mentor and hospital director Dr. Aaron Glassman (played by Richard Schiff), who implores in the pilot, “We should hire him because he is qualified and because he is different. We hire Shaun and make this hospital better for it. We hire Shaun and we are better people for it.”

After securing the rights to the award-winning original with his production company 3AD, Hawaii Five-0 star Daniel Dae Kim tried to adapt it for his then-home network CBS and studio CBS Television Studios in 2014. But CBS passed on the show twice, but Kim refused to give up.

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“Generally what happens is once a show doesn’t proceed, whether it’s at the script stage or the pilot stage, it pretty much disappears. But I felt passionately about this project, passionately enough that I actually decided to buy the rights back myself from CBS and tried to redevelop it,” says Kim. “I’m incredibly grateful to CBS for giving me the opportunity to start a production company. I was really hoping that I could bring something back to my home studio and The Good Doctor full movie was the first project that my company developed, so I was disappointed that it wasn’t the right fit for them at the time.”

At the same time, Shore, who knows a thing or two about producing a hit medical drama after the flying success of House, checked out the Korean show after hearing about it for the umpteenth time. “It was one of those things where I ignored it the first time it was sent to me and then I ignored it the second time it was sent to me. And by the time a third person sends it to you, you go, ‘You know what? Maybe there’s something here,'” he says. “And it moved me. I wanted to do it. Then I found out Daniel was involved and we had a wonderful discussion [where] we saw this [show] the same way and it’s been a great collaboration.”

Things moved fast when the pair teamed up with Sony Pictures Television and the project ultimately landed at ABC with a put-pilot commitment, meaning the network would have incurred a financial penalty if it didn’t make the pilot. Lauren Stein, Sony’s EVP of drama development who’d been involved with the show since the very first days, says Sony was enthusiastic from the second the pitch meeting was done. “It’s kind of been a labor of love for everybody involved,” she says. “[We] really loved the concept and the emotion of the show.

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I think everybody went in with really high expectations and [casting] Freddie really kind of solidified literally everything. … Everybody really had a similar vision going into it. It was again one of those processes where you wish [everything] went as smoothly as this did. We got lucky.”

Expectations were even higher after the pilot tested “through the roof,” Stein says, with test audiences taking a particular liking to Shaun’s underdog journey and Highmore’s carefully modulated portrayal. “People really embraced Shaun as a character and the concept because it is such an emotional show,” she says. The results made them all “cautiously optimistic” for the premiere. “We felt good, but testing is one thing.”

Shore’s surprise is warranted, especially when one considers the three-year, two-network journey The Good Doctor full movie endured to get on the small screen. Based on a 2013 Korean drama of the same name, The Good Doctor 2017 movie follows Dr. Shaun Murphy at his new job at St. Bonaventure Hospital. The hospital board is wary of his ability to communicate and perform effectively, except for his mentor and hospital director Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), who implores in the pilot, “We should hire him because he is qualified and because he is different. … We hire Shaun and we make this hospital better for it. We hire Shaun and we are better people for it.”

After securing the rights to the award-winning original with his production company 3AD, Hawaii Five-0 star Daniel Dae Kim tried to adapt it for his then-home network CBS and studio CBS Television Studios in 2014. CBS, however, passed on it twice, but Kim refused to throw in the towel.

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THE GOOD DOCTOR – ÒSacrificeÓ – Members of the hospitalÕs surgical team are initially impressed with a charming young doctor, but his true character puts one of them in an awkward position at work. Meanwhile, Dr. Glassman feels Dr. Shaun Murphy needs a little more support with his personal life and suggests he meet with a therapist. However, Shaun is determined to show him that he can do it on his own, on ÒThe Good Doctor,Ó MONDAY, DEC. 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eike Schroter)
FREDDIE HIGHMORE, RICHARD SCHIFF

“Generally what happens is once a show doesn’t proceed, whether it’s at the script stage or the pilot stage, it pretty much disappears. But I felt passionately about this project, passionately enough … that I actually bought the rights back myself from CBS and tried to redevelop it,” Kim says. “I’m incredibly grateful to CBS for giving me the opportunity to start a production company. I was really hoping that I could bring something back to my home studio and The Good Doctor 2017 was the first project that my company developed, so I was disappointed that it wasn’t the right fit for them at the time.”

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The Good Doctor 2017, ABC’s sensational, is officially the breakout hit of 2017
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