DEADLINE – There were a couple of acquisitions announced this AM. Gravitas Ventures has partnered to acquire U.S. and Canadian rights to Almost Friends, a romantic comedy from writer-director Jake Goldberger (Life of a King). And Grasshopper Film acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Ava, the drama from debut Iranian filmmaker Sadaf Foroughi.
Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor) leads the cast of Almost Friends, which will have a day-and-date release of Nov. 17 theatrically and on VOD. The other stars include Marg Helgenberger (CSI), Haley Joel Osment (Silicon Valley), Odeya Rush (Goosebumps), Jake Abel (Love & Mercy), Taylor John Smith (Wolves) and Christopher Meloni (Law and Order: SVU). The film follows a once promising young chef, Charlie who is now an unmotivated twenty-something living at home with his mom and stepfather while working at a small movie theatre and living vicariously through his best friend, Ben. His life takes an unpredictable turn however, when he finds himself falling for local barista Amber.
DEADLINE – UPDATED: After impressive premiere and Week 2 hold, ABC’s breakout new drama The Good Doctor starring Freddie Highmore has received a full-season pickup, earning an early back order to bring its freshman total from 13 to 18 episodes. I hear the back order is for 5 not the standard 9 episodes, which has become the norm for a lot of broadcast drama series, including NBC’s This Is Us, Fox’s Empire and ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder.
The Good Doctor, from House creator David Shore and former Hawaii Five-0 co-star Daniel Dae Kim, ranks as the top new broadcast drama series so far this season. It becomes the second freshman series this fall besides CBS’ comedy Young Sheldon to receive a full-season order 8 days into the season.
“We are thrilled to announce that we are giving our viewers additional episodes of The Good Doctor,” said Channing Dungey, President, ABC Entertainment. “We have an amazing team in front of and behind the camera, led by Freddie Highmore’s incredibly nuanced performance as Dr. Shaun Murphy, and we’re confident the show will continue to captivate our audience.”
The Good Doctor, from Sony Pictures TV Studios and ABC Studios, got off to a strong ratings start last Monday with a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating and 11.22 million viewers in Live+same day, and then exploded in Live+3.
After three days of playback, The Good Doctor‘s L+SD viewership increased by a whopping +5.5 million viewers (to 16.9 million, +48%), the second largest absolute gain for a broadcast series premiere ever, behind only ABC’s How To Get Away with Murder (+5.9 million on 9/25/14). In adults 18-49, The Good Doctor jumped by a +1.5 rating (to 3.7 in L+3, +68%), tying the absolute lifts of Designated Survivor and Empire as second largest behind HTGAWM (+1.9).
The Good Doctor then carried the momentum into its second week, with its second episode last night holding onto 100% of the L+SD delivery for the series debut and a rare no Week 2 drop-off.
The Good Doctor was written by Shore based on a South Korean format. It stars Highmore as a young surgeon with Savant syndrome recruited into the pediatric surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. Richard Schiff, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Hill Harper and Beau Garrett co-star.
Shore, who serves as showrunner, and Kim executive produce with David Kim, Sebastian Lee and director Seth Gordon. Erin Gunn and Lindsay Goffman co-exec produce.
I’ve added screen captures of the first episode of The Good Doctor!
Watch The Good Doctor on Mondays at 10|9c only on ABC.