ABC had a hit last night with the premiere of The Good Doctor. The highly anticipated new series stars Freddie Highmore, best known for his role as Norman Bates on Bates Motel. With the preliminary numbers in, and forecasts for the final numbers all but set, ABC has a Monday night hit.
Fans of Freddie Highmore were anxious to see the transition of the actor from Norman Bates to that of Dr. Shaun Murphy in the new series. While Norman was a severely mentally ill and way too entangled with his mother, Dr. Shaun Murphy is autistic and has Savant syndrome.
Shaun is a gentle soul that wants to help people after having suffered tragic losses during his childhood. As a surgical resident, he is sure to teach the teaching staff a few new tricks with his different view of the world. The season premiere promised that he would push the limits further than they had been pushed in the past. Additionally, his style of communication is honest to the bone. When he feels that someone is being inconsistent, he says it. The tone, however, is that of true wonderment and interest rather than being sarcastic. The previews showed looks of surprise by those he was speaking to.
The ratings of The Good Doctor premiere in the coveted age range of 18-49 were 2.4 million, with a total viewership of 11.8 million. According to Deadline Hollywood, the adjustment of the ratings could bring the views down to 2.1 million in the target market and the show still comes in higher than any ABC Monday night premiere since Castle in March 2009.
The premise for The Good Doctor is simple. Dr. Shaun Murphy is unable to relate to people on a social level. He sees the world differently because of his autism and Savant syndrome. His intelligence is amazing and he sees alternatives and issues that average people do not. The fear of the hospital administration is that he will also make mistakes others don’t. A risk to offset the advantage.
Early critics had said the premiere had flat writing. With the level of talent Freddie Highmore has, they could have pushed the writing further. Perhaps fans will see that change after the first six episodes that are already taped.
Did you tune in to watch The Good Doctor? How did you like seeing Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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