The Good Doctor has been renewed for season 5. The pickup comes a couple of weeks ahead of the show’s season 4 finale.

The popular medical drama follows the journey of Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome portrayed by Freddie Highmore, who uses his remarkable medical gifts at St. Bonaventure Hospital’s surgical unit.

Along with Highmore, the show’s cast includes Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Browne, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews, Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman, Christina Chang as Dr. Audrey Lim, Fiona Gubelmann as Dr. Morgan Reznick, Will Yun Lee as Dr. Alex Park, and Paige Spara as Lea Dilallo.

Executive produced by showrunner David Shore, Daniel Dae Kim, Erin Gunn, David Kim, and Sebastian Lee, The Good Doctor made its series debut in 2017. By the third episode, the series became the most-watched show on U.S. television, surpassing The Big Bang Theory, which had not been truly challenged in the ratings for years. 

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A Phenomenal Success

A month after its premiere, the hospital drama emerged as the No. 1 drama on network T.V. to claim rating supremacy with a stunning 17.4 million viewers. The series outperformed juggernauts like NBC’s This Is Us’s 16.9 million viewership and CBS’s NCIS’s 16.8 million viewership.  

According to The Guardian, medical shows struggle to find the perfect balance between the compelling medical aspects and the heartfelt human ones. The Good Doctor combined both in a way that keeps fans hooked and intrigued. 

The series focuses on the protagonist’s experience of adjusting to the challenges of medical training that are exaggerated with autism. The show introduced viewers to a world that most don’t see, and they were left wondering if and how Murphy might adapt.

Fans loved the show and praised its depiction of autism, and attested to the tear-jerking medical plotlines. By 2018, the show had a massive global following, with 47.7 million people tuning around the world partly because the casts represented a diverse set of racial/ethnic backgrounds. 

Fan Speculations

Is The Good Doctor based on a real story? As Murphy’s brilliance continued to leave audiences in awe episode after episode, they cannot help but wonder if the series is actually based on a true story, and as much as fans would like it to be so, it is not. 

The series is adapted from a South Korean medical drama of the same name that follows a character with autism as he proves his worth despite the challenges in the world of professional medicine.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter back in 2014, producer Dae Kim opined that the timing for good content to transcend cultural barriers was impeccable. He added that the U.S. already had an awareness of the international market and, therefore, an interest in foreign content. 

There are more serialized dramas in America, and there can be room for something inspired by Korean T.V.

He iterated that Koreans had a knack for portraying heartbreak and melodrama like no other country and was inherently drawn by the “Koreanness” of The Good Doctor. While Dae Kim’s remake of the Korean drama’s particular character and life are not based on any specific true story, Murphy’s savant syndrome is real.

The Good Doctor may not be a true story, but it is definitely one of the most beloved medical dramas.