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The Good Doctor Season 4 - What We Know So Far

The Good Doctor has been a popular drama for ABC for the past three seasons, so the news that the series has been renewed for a fourth season (which broke in February 2020) came as no surprise to loyal fans.

The medical drama features Freddie Highmore in the lead role of Doctor Shaun Murphy, a role for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe back in 2018. Dr. Murphy, who has savant syndrome, faces challenges most surgical residents don't have to deal with on top of their difficult job, as he often struggles to deal with the emotional and social aspects of his profession.

The show's third season came to an end on March 30, with some characters departing before the conclusion of the two-part finale, and fans left crying their eyes out in living rooms across the world. Fortunately for them, with a fourth season confirmed, there will definitely be more to come from Dr. Murphy and his colleagues.

What is the release date for season 4 of The Good Doctor?

The Good Doctor normally runs on an annual release cycle like most other cable shows, which would usually mean that fans could expect a season four premiere around September. But unfortunately, current circumstances must be taken into account. With the coronavirus pandemic affecting filming on film and television projects all over the world, it seems unlikely at this stage that the cast and crew will be able to get any filming done for the foreseeable future, making a September release date pretty unlikely.

Series creator and executive producer David Shore spoke to Deadline about production plans amid the outbreak, stating that the writers would start working on scripts via video conferencing. With that in mind, it seems that the crew are going for as normal a schedule as possible, with the hope they can start filming in time to begin dropping episodes in September. More likely, however, The Good Doctor will be returning later in the year, if not sometime in 2021. We'll be keeping our eye out for an official premiere date, and we'll be updating this post accordingly.

Who is in the cast for season 4 of The Good Doctor?

The season three finale indicated that there would be some changes to the cast. In the episode, Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) was caught in an earthquake, and he at first appeared to have only minor scrapes; however, it was later revealed that he had severe internal injuries. As a result, the doctor said a tearful goodbye to his loved ones before passing on.

There are also hints that other doctors may have said their goodbyes. Dr. Carly Lever (Jasika Nicole) appeared to be making an exit, although Shore did say she might have a smaller role to play in the future. "I would love to have her back here and there," Shore told TVLine in March 2020. "I love Jasika, and would love to see her on the show, but it will not be in the same capacity."

Dr. Alex Park (Will Yun Lee) could also be leaving, as he expressed in the season finale that he wanted to move back to Arizona to be closer to his family. And Dr. Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) may have ended her career as a surgeon when she operated on a patient in the season finale while still recovering from major surgery on her own hands. Shore did try to reassure fans that both would be returning in some capacity, but with some drastic changes after their experiences.

Aside from the confirmed and suspected departures, Highmore will definitely be back in the lead role, and it seems that his love interest Lea (Paige Spara) will also continue to make appearances. Others who are almost certainly returning include Antonia Thomas (Dr. Claire Browne), Christina Chang (Dr. Audrey Lim), Hill Harper (Dr. Marcus Andrews), and Richard Schiff (Dr. Aaron Glassman).

What will be the plot for season 4 of The Good Doctor?

The Good Doctor being a medical drama, fans can expect plenty of medical emergencies and, well, drama from the fourth season. While speaking to Deadline, Shore did question whether or not the current real-world pandemic could be written into the show.

"When you're doing a TV show, and this specific TV show, it exists in the real world. It exists in this world exactly as it is, except for The Good Doctor is not on TV... We will have to make some decisions about that, and I think, to some extent, live in that reality. But we don't know what that reality is going to be... We're telling stories about the world that we live in, and this is part of the world we live in right now," Shore explained, adding, "At the same time, we don't want to exploit the current situation."

Per an exclusive report from TV Line, Shore has apparently found the right balance. Like many other medical shows planning a triumphant return in the next year or so, The Good Doctor's season premiere will explicitly address the medical issue of the day: the COVID-19 pandemic. The doctors of St. Bonaventure will apply their hard-won knowledge of quarantine procedures to battle the novel coronavirus in the series' two-part season 4 premiere episode.

Shore hasn't let slip any more details about what else could be to come for the doctors of St. Bonaventure Hospital — particularly given the writers haven't even started in on the scripts yet — but with the departures of some of their own, we can be sure they'll have to go through an adjustment period while they deal with their losses. For Doctors Park and Reznick, there'll be even more change to go through as they deal with the massive changes to their lives. As for what else season 4 of The Good Doctor could have in store for us, though, we'll just have to wait until the show gets closer to its return to venture a guess.