It’s not exactly news that the early returns on “The Good Doctor” have been very positive for ABC.
The show had the highest-rated premiere for a new drama so far this season — and second-highest* for any new show — and held onto nearly all its audience in its second week. ABC quickly picked up the series for a full season.
(*Behind “Young Sheldon.” We’re not counting “Will & Grace” as a new show.)
“The Good Doctor” premiere also picked up a bunch more audience in the three days after it aired. Now, with a week of delayed-viewing stats in, the episode has set a record for the biggest total-viewer gain: 7.9 million people watched the premiere after the fact via DVR or on demand.
That tops the previous record of a 7.7 million-viewer lift, set a year ago by the series premiere of “Designated Survivor.”
“The Good Doctor” also doubled its adults 18-49 rating, going from 2.2 the night it aired to 4.4 in the Live +7 numbers. That’s the largest seven-day increase for a series premiere since “How to Get Away with Murder” (+2.3) debuted in 2014.
A big Live +7 gain is not the most salient thing in determining a show’s fate. It obviously doesn’t hurt, and it can be an asset in making streaming deals and international sales. Still, the sheer size of the “The Good Doctor’s” boost is notable. The ceiling for delayed viewing, even — especially — among shows that draw big audiences in their first airing, is getting ever higher.
The full set of Live +7 ratings for the first week of the 2017-18 season will be out sometime next week.