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After The Rookie, The Good Doctor May Be The Next ABC Hit To Get A Spinoff

ABC is branching out for the 2022-2023 TV season when it comes to The Rookie, as the Nathan Fillion-led drama’s spinoff will soon premiere after its backdoor pilot for Niecy Nash’s Simone aired in the spring. Now, with The Rookie: Feds on the way, the network may be looking to expand hit hospital drama The Good Doctor with a spinoff of its own, but not with one of its existing doctors. 

The Good Doctor – which premieres its sixth season in October – will reportedly launch a legal drama called The Good Lawyer, according to Deadline, centered on a 20-something woman named Joni who fights her OCD to pursue justice as a defense attorney. She would enter the scene as a lawyer for Shaun after he has need of representation, which doesn’t sound great for Shaun but could be the basis for a solid spinoff. 

Although neither ABC nor production company Sony TV have commented at the time of writing, the outlet states that Joni (whose casting is open to all ethnicities) would debut in Episode 13 of The Good Doctor Season 6. The character is said to struggle with her OCD while also using her attention to detail to her advantage in her career, although she had to threaten legal action against her upscale law firm for attempting to unjustly fire her. 

Another new character is Janet, a veteran lawyer who has represented Dr. Glassman for decades, which delivers the connection between Shaun and this law firm. It sounds like Joni and Janet could be the Shaun and Glassman of The Good Lawyer, if it’s ordered to series, as a core mentor/mentee relationship, but the new characters’ connections may not go back as far as Shaun and Glassman’s. 

The news of a potential backdoor pilot comes a little over a year after Sony Pictures TV President Jeff Frost floated the idea of a spinoff as a possibility, although at the time didn’t share any details about what a spinoff could look like. Instead of focusing on one of the existing characters like Claire (now that she’s no longer at St. Bonaventure) or Dr. Lim (assuming she recovers from the bloody Season 5 finale cliffhanger), The Good Lawyer would center on a newcomer. 

Whether or not the potential spinoff becomes a series like The Rookie: Feds, it seems that ABC is working well ahead on the project, with The Good Doctor EPs and co-showrunners David Shore and Liz Friedman on board. Assuming that the sixth season airs with a similar schedule to the first five, Episode 13 wouldn’t release until early 2023. At this point, fans are still more than a month away from seeing how the Season 6 premiere picks up after the attack on Dr. Lim. (You can revisit the Season 5 finale streaming with a Hulu subscription.)

A legal drama would be a fresh addition to the ABC lineup, which already has a few crime dramas (if we count Big Sky to go along with The Rookie and The Rookie: Feds) and two medical dramas, with The Good Doctor Season 6 and Grey’s Anatomy approaching Season 19. 

Plus, ABC has been behind the times when it comes to multi-show scripted franchises, compared to the likes of CBS (with the NCIS and FBI shows) and NBC (with the Law & Order and One Chicago shows). Only Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 shared a universe on ABC before; with The Rookie: Feds and potentially The Good Lawyer, that could change for the better.

For now, though, the backdoor pilot for The Good Lawyer hasn’t been confirmed, so we’re well away from a series order. For now, fans can just look forward to the return of The Good Doctor in the 2022 TV premiere schedule. Season 6 returns to its 10 p.m. ET time slot on Mondays in ABC’s fall schedule starting on October 3.  

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, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.