Spoilers ahead for the Season 1 finale of Good Sam on CBS, called “To Whom It May Concern.”
The first season of broadcast TV’s newest medical drama has come to an end, and Good Sam used its finale to set up what could be a thrilling Season 2. Sam successfully won the job as chief of cardiothoracic over her dad, but Griff wasn’t ready to give up power at the hospital. After losing his shot to retake the job of CT chief, he maneuvered his way into the chief medical officer position. He effectively stole his ex-wife’s job, and Sam seems about ready to do anything to get in his way in a second season. But will that second season happen?
CBS didn’t renew Good Sam ahead of its first season finale on May 4, and it’s not like the network is only renewing comedies and unscripted series. All three NCIS shows as well as Blue Bloods will all be back in the 2022-2023 season, but Good Sam was not a drama that got the good news before wrapping in the spring. Fans may be in for a bit of a wait before getting the official news about the medical show’s future, but we can look at the ratings and viewership numbers to get an idea of how well Good Sam is actually doing.
How Good Sam Is Doing In The Ratings
There are a few important ways to look at ratings for primetime network TV shows, and they can make or break whether or not a series has the numbers to earn a renewal. There are the Live+Same day numbers that reveal how many people watched live, the Live+3 day numbers for people who watched within three days of the broadcast, and Live+7 for people who watched within a week, all in the important 18-49 age demographic.
The average ratings (courtesy of Spoiler TV) for Season 1 suggest that even though Good Sam isn’t the biggest hit on CBS and doesn't receive the biggest boosts, it has done reasonably well:
- Live+Same: 0.3 rating and 2.2 million viewers
- Live+3: 0.4 rating and 3.4 million viewers
- Live+7: 0.4 rating and 3.8 million viewers
The medical drama gets a slight boost in the ratings between the initial broadcast and Live+7, but also a viewership growth of 1.6 million viewers, which is not a small number. Considering that Good Sam (which you can stream with a Paramount+ subscription) airs late on a competitive night of television, those numbers don’t automatically point toward cancellation. They also don’t guarantee renewal, particularly when we look at the competition.
How Good Sam Compares To The Competition
Neither Fox nor The CW air primetime programming at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesdays, but NBC airs one of its heaviest hitters, and ABC has a drama already in its fourth season. NBC’s offering is actually the former home of Good Sam leading lady Sophia Bush, with Chicago P.D. now in its ninth season. Take a look at the numbers for P.D. on average for the 2021-2022 TV season:
- Live+Same: 0.7 rating and 5.8 million viewers
- Live+3: 1.2 rating and 8.5 million viewers
- Live+7: 1.3 rating and 9.2 million viewers
Chicago P.D. is one of relatively few shows that do well in their initial broadcasts and still shoot way up in delayed viewing, so Good Sam fans shouldn’t look at those numbers and panic that the first-season series didn’t grow as much from Live+Same to Live+7. Plenty of shows do well in delayed viewing, but P.D. is an outlier compared to the others in the 10 p.m. ET time slot on Wednesdays.
ABC’s offering in that time slot is A Million Little Things, which is hurtling toward a Season 4 finale that will end on some kind of cliffhanger, and currently without a guarantee of a renewal. (Chicago P.D. has already been renewed.) Here’s how A Million Little Things has been doing on average:
- Live+Same: 0.3 rating and 1.9 million viewers
- Live+3: 0.6 rating and 3.6 million viewers
- Live+7: 0.7 rating and 4.1 million viewers
On average, Good Sam and AMLT are tied in Live+Same ratings, and the CBS show even beats ABC’s option in audience size. Delayed totals are where AMLT starts to pull ahead, ending up on top in both ratings and viewership by Live+7. A Million Little Things has historically been a strong performer in delayed viewership. Sophia Bush’s show (which delivered a One Tree Hill reunion back in March) isn’t the lowest in Live+Same, but certainly not the winner over AMLT and Chicago P.D. in delayed totals.
The Variables To Consider
Good Sam not crushing in the live ratings and not rising enough in delayed numbers to defeat the competition may sound discouraging, but there are a lot of variables to consider. For one, CBS isn’t known as a destination for medical dramas, but more of a place to be for crime-fighting franchises like NCIS and FBI. Good Sam also premiered as a brand new series in January, whereas Chicago P.D. and A Million Little Things are both series that returned with new seasons back in the fall.
Like many other network shows, Good Sam was also on a break for most of the month of February while the Olympics became the dominant force on television, and had a few more breaks between February and the May 4 finale. Plus, it has aired on a night otherwise full of reality competition shows. If a second season is ordered, receives a fall premiere, and doesn't have to go on as frequent breaks between episodes – and possibly gets a different time slot that doesn't put it up against Chicago P.D. – then Good Sam could flourish even more than the respectable numbers for Season 1.
For now, however, fans can only wait and hope that CBS has some good news to announce about the future of Good Sam. Networks have more to consider than just ratings when it comes to renewals and cancellations, and it’ll be another week before the Live+7 totals are ready from the Season 1 finale. There are also plenty of other finales on the way, so be sure to check out our 2022 spring TV finale schedule to prepare.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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