The Good Doctor’s Final Season Got a 1/3 Cut Because of ABC’s Last Minute Changes

The Good Doctor’s Final Season Got a 1/3 Cut Because of ABC’s Last Minute Changes
Image credit: Legion-Media, ABC

The strikes continue to affect the shows almost a year later.

There is no doubt how much the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes affected the industry, as to this day some shows are facing changes in budgeting, scheduling and casting due to the events that took place in 2023. Fortunately, both writers and actors were granted fair working conditions.

The shows and movies released in the second half of 2023 and throughout 2024 will never be the same in terms of length and quality. This is especially true for those series that will have to say goodbye to their audiences.

The Good Doctor Season 7 Finale

Whether or not the decision to cancel The Good Doctor after season 7 was in any way related to the strikes is not publicly known, and probably never will be. However, the shortened final season is a direct result of the network's need to fit filming into a tight schedule and an even tighter budget.

The Good Doctor’s Final Season Got a 1/3 Cut Because of ABC’s Last Minute Changes - image 1

Many networks lost a significant amount of money in the few months they were able to show viewers the pre-filmed content and the most popular reruns. As soon as the strikes were over, writers and actors rushed to the sets to begin production. However, the final decision on the length of the show always rested with the studio.

According to The Good Doctor creator David Shore and executive producer Liz Friedman, the team had to work under very difficult circumstances. They knew the show might be coming to an end, but they also had a very limited number of episodes to wrap up the story. ABC just kept messing with their plans:

“Part of going through the writers strike was a repeated calculation of how many episodes we could do if it ended next week. And it was hard, honestly, because even when we came back, we had the ability to do 15 [episodes]. ABC initially said, no, we only want 13 and then that number got reduced to 10,” Friedman explained.

Although the crew behind the show had to work twice as hard to fit the story they had already planned into 2/3 of the episodes they had planned, they managed to do it. While fans would have loved more time to say goodbye to Dr. Shaun Murphy and all the other characters, they still enjoyed the shortened finale.

If you haven't had a minute to sit down and watch The Good Doctor finale, now's your chance. All episodes of the show, including the last one, are available for streaming on Hulu.

Source: Variety