When Will ‘The Good Doctor’ Be Back for Season 3?

British actor Freddie Highmore finally became the superstar he deserved after we all remember him in numerous films as a child actor. His performance alone in 2004’s Finding Neverland was one movie project we thought would propel him to American stardom much sooner.

It took a while here in the states, but it finally happened with Bates Motel, and now The Good Doctor. The latter show has been a huge success for ABC, despite mixed reviews for the show as a whole.

You could look at The Good Doctor as the Bohemian Rhapsody of TV: Criticized as a show, yet praised for its main actor. It’ll be back for a third season next fall.

What are the pros and cons of ‘The Good Doctor’?

If you’ve seen the show, you already know how great Freddie Highmore is playing Dr. Shaun Murphy who’s hired reluctantly by San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital as a surgical resident. Murphy happens to have autism and also savant syndrome. Highmore’s performance of this character has been so convincing, some think he has a form of autism himself.

He doesn’t, though it just proves how committed Highmore has been to his craft. Careful research went into the role, including befriending people with autism for first-hand observation.

Much like what Rami Malek did in meticulously studying Freddie Mercury for Bohemian Rhapsody, TGD is mostly about Highmore’s performance. The rest of the show often gets accused of having plenty of “emotionally manipulative gimmickry.”

Shaun Murphy is the Gregory House of today

No doubt one of the things making The Good Doctor so popular is its clever ability to find creative solutions to many complex illnesses. You can compare this somewhat to the series House where Dr. Gregory House (the great Hugh Laurie) would often come up with brilliant workarounds to solve a unique medical situation.

Of course, House wasn’t autistic, or at least not spoken if he was. A Murphy-House connection is no accident, though, considering The Good Doctor creator David Shore also created House.

The intense commitment to the part almost had Highmore backing out before the show began. Over the last two seasons, Shore has agreed to produce just 18 episodes per season, allowing Highmore time to make movies during the summer hiatus.

This season will have one interesting change

Now with a third season a go for next season, we can probably expect The Good Doctor to improve from its initial tepid reviews. One thing you may not know is former Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim was responsible for getting TGD on the air. His production company bought the rights from a South Korean TV counterpart.

Yes, it seems America almost always pillages from other countries for TV show ideas. Still, Dae Kim made it a hit for American audiences. With his controversial 2017 departure from Five-O behind him, he stepped in as an actor on The Good Doctor this season playing new Chief of Surgery, Dr. Jackson Han.

Maybe he’ll make a difference in diminishing the medical drama gimmickry we’ve seen far too often after 1990s-era ER set the bar high.

Were ratings to do with the renewal, or something else?

The Good Doctor
Freddie Highmore in ‘The Good Doctor” | David Bukach/Getty Images

According to media reports, the rating for The Good Doctor are still respectable if not spectacular. Airing on Monday nights, it’s often competing with the slightly more popular Bull on CBS and Manifest on NBC.

Even so, it was already said during the show’s first season that half of its audience watches it live and the other half on DVR. The DVR ratio has improved recently, which likely made a difference in ABC deciding to green-light a third season early.

One thing we hope to see with this renewal is a new precedent for more shows highlighting mental illness and how complex it is even in professional society.