The broadcast networks have nearly 20 shows debuting this fall, including The CW’s soapy new Dynasty, NBC’s look at Brave military heroes and the adventures of Fox’s Gifted mutants. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.
Next up on our list….
THE SHOW | ABC’s The Good Doctor (Mondays at 10/9c, premiere date TBA)
THE COMPETITION | CBS’ Scorpion and NBC’s The Brave (new)
THE CAST | Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), Richard Schiff (The West Wing), Hill Harper (CSI: NY), Antonia Thomas (Misfits), Nicholas Gonzalez (Pretty Little Liars), Beau Garrett (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) and Chuku Modu
THE SET-UP | Highmore plays Dr. Shaun Murphy, a prospective hire at a prestigious San Jose hospital — if some skeptical colleagues can come to see the upside, versus simply the liabilities, of his autism diagnosis. Schiff plays the hospital president/Murphy’s longtime champion, while Harper and Gonzalez’s docs are among those opposed to the autistic savant’s hiring.
THE FIRST IMPRESSION | Highmore. Three-time Emmy winner Schiff. Adapted from a Korean series by House‘s own David Shore. The Good Doctor boasts great DNA. I thought for sure the pilot would bowl me over with swelling emotional moments, but it never quite did — partly because it takes a while to build up momentum, repeatedly cutting away as it does from Dr. Murphy’s detoured trip to his final interview and the fascinating debate among the hospital board to a B-story that, I suppose, gives us some context for his eventual arrival. That said, the very final scene packs quite a punch, as Dr. Murphy unwittingly puts a colleague on notice.
This has the potential to be a refreshingly thought-provoking hospital drama, based on the buttons pushed in the pilot alone. Schiff (who gets to gloriously orate in a way few can do) and Highmore share a warm dynamic, Harper and Gonzalez present formidable foils and Thomas (playing a fellow surgeon) is poised to be our emotional “in” to Shaun’s distinct, distant world (which is literally illustrated with on-screen diagrams that I have to wonder will eventually go the way of MacGyver‘s).
THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Assuming NBC’s The Brave gets lost amid this TV season’s multiple military-themed newbies, The Good Doctor looks to be in a two-way race with CBS’ tried-and-true Scorpion. If it can land somewhere between the 0.7 demo rating that ill-fated Conviction barely mustered last fall, and the 1.1 posted by Castle‘s farewell run, ABC should consider than a clean bill of health.
Watch a trailer for The Good Doctor, then vote in our poll below.