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November 15, 2023 9:55 am  #1

Could Michigan Be Forbidden From Showing "The Good Doctor?"

This is definitely one of the strangest stories I've ever seen. It turns out the guy who plays the head of the hospital in the ABC drama "The Good Doctor", an actor named Hill Harper, has decided to run for a Senate seat in the state of Michigan. (Which I'm assuming means he'll no longer be on the show.)

But now owner Sony Pictures has been forced to ask lawmakers if the reruns and future new episodes will somehow act as a financial endorsement for the actor-turned-candidate and if the answer is 'yes,' viewers in Michigan won't be able to see it. (Although with CTV running it, I'm not sure it still wouldn't be available to viewers there. And what about streaming? How would they control that?)

What a weird story, where a man's candidacy might prevent his old TV show from being seen while the contest is on. A first to me, for sure. 

Sony Asks FEC for Go-Ahead to Air ‘The Good Doctor’ Amid Hill Harper’s Senate Run


November 15, 2023 11:53 am  #2

Re: Could Michigan Be Forbidden From Showing "The Good Doctor?"

I wonder if reruns of CSI: NY would also be prohibited from being shown in that area? Hill Harper played M.E. Sheldon Hawkes in that series.

PJ's ORIGINAL classic hits station!

November 15, 2023 12:46 pm  #3

Re: Could Michigan Be Forbidden From Showing "The Good Doctor?"

I guess this means if it had been in the past, Bedtime For Bonzo would have been banned when Ronald Reagan was running for president. 

     Thread Starter

November 16, 2023 8:18 am  #4

Re: Could Michigan Be Forbidden From Showing "The Good Doctor?"

Of not so late, but recent memory... (and I'm sure there have been others....)

Fred Grandy was a Congressman in the late 80s to the mid/late 90s...  he had a prominent role/exposure in "The Love Boat",  as well as numerous appearances on earlier 70s sitcoms. 

Sonny Bono also held office as a US Congressman after his split from Cher...  

Al Franken later ran and was elected as a US Senator.   Previously he was a writer and later a member of the cast of SNL before he entered politics...

Maybe this is a new rule, or specific to Michigan election law, but I don't recall hearing of suspension or bans of TV reruns featuring the actors mentioned above during their quest for political office...


November 16, 2023 8:56 am  #5

Re: Could Michigan Be Forbidden From Showing "The Good Doctor?"

Fred Dalton Thompson was an actor turned politician (Senator from Tennessee) who left public life to go back to acting, appearing for several years as D.A. Arthur Branch on "Law & Order."

In 2017, he left the show to make a failed bid to run for the presidency. And according to Wikipedia, this happened:

"Due to concerns about the equal-time rule, reruns featuring the Branch character were not shown on NBC while Thompson was a potential or actual presidential candidate, but TNT episodes were unaffected."

So it appears there's precedent for this. 


     Thread Starter