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Strong Medicine: A Look at Viewer Emotions Surrounding ABC’s ‘The Good Doctor’

We’re deep into the fall TV season and it’s safe to say that ABChas a new hit on its hands with The Good Doctor. The medical drama, starring Freddie Highmore as Shaun Murphy, a young autistic surgical resident who also has savant syndrome, has struck a chord with viewers.

According to Canvs, the emotion measurement company, the show has generated over 30,600 Emotional Reactions (ERs) on social media so far in its freshman season and the primary emotions are overwhelmingly positive: 35.4% of all ERs express love, 13.4% are express enjoyment the show, 11.1% express excitement and, as you may expect from a tugging-at-the-heartstrings medical show, 4.9% talk about crying.

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Predictably, main character Dr. Shaun Murphy is the driving force behind much of the emotional conversation, but it’s also interesting to note that a good portion of the discussion is about the actor portraying Murphy (usually characters, not actors, drive the reactions). The second most-mentioned character in ERs is Dr. Neil Melendez (portrayed by Nicholas Gonzalez).

According to, which has attention and conversion data from more than seven million smart TVs, so far 149 brands have spent an estimated $18.6 million running 164 spots 225 times during The Good Doctor. Auto makers and mobile device companies are the industries leading in spend, but Target and Lyrica (a nerve pain medication) top the list of individual brands that have shelled out the most.

When it comes to viewer attention to ads during The Good Doctor, Cotton is leading according to the iSpot Attention Index, with 84% fewer interruptions during its commercials (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV), followed by Buick with 82% fewer interruptions.

Data from Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level information from 7 million smart TV screens and devices, shows that, from a minute-by-minute viewing perspective of the most recent episode, The Good Doctor is holding on to its audience. Lots of shows have declining viewership as their timeslot grinds on, but this drama keeps its fans engaged to the end.

There are 11 more episodes to go this season, so stay tuned to see if The Good Doctor keeps captivating audiences.