Good Sam's Sophia Bush Explains Coming 'Full Circle' In Her Return To A TV Leading Role

sophia bush as sam griffith good sam cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

Sophia Bush was a mainstay on television for years before stepping away from leading series regular roles, but now the actress is returning to network primetime thanks to CBS’ upcoming Good Sam. The medical drama partners the One Tree Hill and Chicago P.D. alum with Harry Potter franchise veteran Jason Isaacs to play an unconventional daughter/father duo in the halls of a hospital. Despite working in television for nearly two decades, this is Bush’s first role playing a doctor, and she shared why the role feels “full circle” for her.

The leading lady as well as the rest of the cast of Good Sam spoke with reporters at CBS’ Winter TCA presentation ahead of the show’s premiere on January 5. Bush shared what it has been like playing a doctor and tackling new challenges as Dr. Sam Griffith: 

For me, the irony of all of this is that my plan as a kid, you know – I don't know if it's growing up, you know, the daughter of an immigrant or what. But your options are really like you're a doctor or a lawyer, or a lawyer or a doctor. So as a young person, I said I wanted to be a doctor. And I was particularly fascinated with heart surgery. Considered it as a specialty. And then my high school drama teacher got in the way and helped put me up in my first play. You can imagine the shock when I told my parents I wasn't going to med school, I was going to go study theater and, you know, learn how to do costume makeup. So, it really feels full circle. My parents are thrilled by this. They're sort of like living out their moment.

Her big break in a main role may have been playing One Tree Hill’s Brooke Davis, and she may have spent years as a detective in One Chicago, but starring in Good Sam has brought her full circle from wanting to be a doctor as a kid. Sure, playing a doctor on television isn’t the same as what she was evidently planning before her drama teacher put her on the path to performance, but she found a roundabout way to get there! And there’s no denying that she has been successful as an actress.

In fact, she did return to television over the years since leaving Chicago P.D. in 2017, with guest appearances on shows like This Is Us and Jane the Virgin, with Good Sam actually reuniting Bush with Jane the Virgin executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman. Bush also took on a recurring role in Hulu's Love, Victor, but Good Sam marks her branching out into a new genre as the leading lady. The actress elaborated on what it has been like to join a medical drama to play a doctor after all these years:

There is such a heightened sense of what's important in the walls of a hospital when things are literally life and death. And that has only increased for all of us in terms of representing healthcare workers since COVID. And, so, this incredible sum of all these parts that we've put together has made learning terminology, like pericardiocentesis needle, and talking about superficial venous thrombosis, and all of these other things, I love it. It's nuts, but I love it. And one of my very favorite things to do, not only as an individual, but with this whole team of unbelievably talented actors, is to get into our medical rehearsals and figure out who slaps what where and how we do the things, and we make it look pretty bad ass. I'm, like, actually living a dream.

There is no shortage of medical dramas already on television; in fact, each of the other three major networks already have at least one show in the genre on the air, and Good Sam will put CBS on the map. The network is already dominant when it comes to crime dramas, so it should be intriguing to see how its new medical series performs in the ratings. Interestingly, CBS has given Good Sam a competitive time slot: Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET, which will put it up against Bush’s former show on NBC. 

CSI: Vegas was never able to beat Chicago P.D. in the ratings when they aired new episodes head-to-head; could Good Sam pull it off? And will it establish CBS as a place to be for medical drama action, when the other networks are already several seasons into their own medical dramas? Only time will tell how viewers will respond to Sophia Bush’s return to television in a leading role to play a doctor for the first time, but the wait isn’t too much longer. Good Sam premieres on Wednesday, January 5 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. For more viewing options in the new year, be sure to check out our 2022 winter and spring TV premiere schedule.

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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).