Why New Amsterdam Is Really Ending With A Two-Hour Finale Event, According To The EPs

The end is already nigh for New Amsterdam, as the show returned in 2023 with just three episodes left, and two airing on the same night. The fifth and final season will conclude with two episodes on January 17, which means NBC devoting nearly a full night of primetime to fans getting to say goodbye to Max and Co. With the hours counting down until the beginning of the end, executive producers David Schulner and Peter Horton spoke about the last two episodes.

The end has been hyped as a two-hour finale event in promos on NBC, and fans have known for months that New Amsterdam would get a bigger farewell than just the usual one episode per Tuesday night. When I spoke with the executive producers ahead of the finale and asked if it was always the plan for a two-parter at the very end, David Schulner responded: 

No. That's why they're completely different episodes.

While the finale is able to be promoted as a two-hour event, that wasn’t the original plan and fans evidently shouldn’t go into Tuesday night expecting Episode 12 and Episode 13 to feel like two halves of a whole, with one flowing right into the next. Peter Horton elaborated on the situation:

That's a scheduling issue for NBC. That wasn't a creative choice.

New Amsterdam didn’t air last week due to the Golden Globes taking over NBC to reveal the winners with Jerrod Carmichael as host after the awards were not broadcast on television in 2022. The Golden Globes took up all three hours of primetime, which meant that the medical drama had to take the week off. 

The final two airing back-to-back means that the one that aired back on January 3 (directed by Peter Horton) was more or less the penultimate episode, and a whole lot happened in the span of the hour. On top of an outdoors adventure going horribly wrong for the doctors (complete with a guide who lost her leg and a head wound for Iggy), Max had to face the test of whether or not he would see Helen again. 

Max ultimately decided not to see his former fiancée, and instead went to Wilder to confirm to her that he wants a future with her rather than dwelling on the past with Helen. The New Amsterdam bosses have weighed in on whether that was enough for Max to get closure. David Schulner shared his thoughts on how well Episode 11 works as the penultimate episode, saying:

I think it's the perfect penultimate episode. Like on Game of Thrones, they would always have the big battle scenes be the penultimate episode, and the finale really sets up the next season. So I think – not to compare us to Game of Thrones by any means – but Peter directed the perfect penultimate episode.

New Amsterdam and Game of Thrones may not exactly exist in the same genre of television, but David Schulner is optimistic about Episode 11 working perfectly as a setup for the finale, even though that wasn’t the original plan. The executive producers also aren’t the only ones from the show who have been hyping what to look forward to in how the medical drama wraps. Jocko Sims, who plays Reynolds, shared that he was excited for fans to learn more about the doctors and their pasts, while Tyler Labine – a.k.a. Iggy – explained what he hopes makes fans happy with the ending. 

Don’t miss the final two episodes of New Amsterdam on Tuesday, January 17, starting at 9 p.m. ET and continuing at 10 p.m. ET on NBC in the 2023 TV schedule. You can also revisit earlier days of the medical drama streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).