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Why Sophia Bush Decided To Return To Network TV For Good Sam After Chicago P.D. Controversy

Dr. Sam Griffith sitting on hospital bed in Good Sam
(Image credit: CBS)

Despite 2022 not even being a week old yet, TV networks aplenty have begun rolling out winter returns and midseason premieres, giving viewers a lot of options to consider as the outside world remains pandemic-torn. One such new series is CBS’ Good Sam, which stars Chicago P.D. and One Tree Hill vet Sophia Bush alongside Star Trek Discovery and Harry Potter franchise alum Jason Isaacs. The hospital-set drama is Bush’s first broadcast network role after her highly publicized exit from the One Chicago universe back in 2017, and the star has opened up about what drew her back to the Big 4.

Having most recently served in a recurring capacity across both streaming seasons of Hulu’s dramedy Love, Victor, Sophia Bush certainly doesn’t wish to have repeat experiences of her time on NBC’s Chicago P.D. and the alleged abusive behavior she witnessed and experienced on that show. But in an interview with USA Today, the actress revealed the key reason why she decided to head up another network show after such a relatively quick turnaround. In her words: 

I could have very easily continued making projects with Joe Swanberg and Netflix (Easy) and Hulu (Love, Victor) and all the wonderful people I've been working for who've been a total dream. I wasn't really sure I would come back to network TV, because of the stuckness. And then I read (Wech's) script. And then I sat down with Katie Wech, Jennie Snyder Urman and Joanna Klein. And I was like, 'I would follow these women anywhere, let's go.'

When it comes right down to it, it sounds like Sophia Bush is seeking out shows with showrunners and producers that she feels comfortable working with, as well as ones that can deliver attention-grabbing scripts and narratives. And it appears she landed just such a combination with Good Sam, which was created by the aforementioned Katie Wech, a former writer/producer on such series as The Republic of Sarah, Jane the Virgin, Rizzoli and Isles, and BH90210. All series with strong, largely celebrated female leads front and center. 

Fellow writer/producer Jennie Snyder Urman also worked on Jane the Virgin, as well as the original 90210 continuation series, Gilmore Girls and the Charmed reboot. Both she and Joanna Klein worked on CBS’ short-lived comedy Broke, which was Pauley Perrette’s first big TV role following her controversial exit from NCIS. So one can assume the two producers are somewhat familiar with trying to keep things as free from toxicity and misconduct behind the scenes as possible, which is surely something Sophia Bush can appreciate. 

When asked how her past experiences on Chicago P.D. and One Tree Hill — which she and other female co-stars have spoken out against in regards to alleged abuse from showrunner Mark Schwann — have affected her decision-making when it comes to taking acting roles, Bush said: 

It really made me rethink what I wanted to do. It's the reason that I went and made independent movies that I loved and streaming shows with people whom I trusted and worked full-time on two elections and launched two podcasts, because I didn't want to be stuck on a set again. Because when you're stuck, you don't have any options. You don't have anywhere to go. I really have taken my time to find the people who I would be willing to come back to a network show for.

It’s one thing to take a movie role that likely won’t require more than a few months out of one’s life to take part in, but signing on for a network TV drama is a huge commitment, especially when there are contractual stipulations specifically meant to thwart actors from bowing out early. Bush herself was said to have been told there was no way she could get out of her Chicago P.D. contract before it expired, and yet she did just that. 

Hopefully nothing even remotely similar to those alleged woes will occur on Good Sam, which is as much a relationship-driven drama between Dr. Sam Griffith and her father Dr. Rob Griffith as it is a traditional medical drama. Think of it like This Is Us (which Sophia Bush appeared on in 2020) meets The Good Doctor

And while you're thinking about it, be sure to watch new episodes of Good Sam on CBS every Wednesday night at 10:00 p.m. ET, the very same time slot as her former home of Chicago P.D. 

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.