How The Good Doctor Handled Hill Harper’s Exit as Dr. Marcus Andrews in Season 7 Premiere

Dr. Marcus Andrews hasn’t just forfeit his job as president of St. Bonaventure Hospital on ABC’s The Good Doctor. He’s left San Jose behind entirely.

As TVLine was first to report, original cast member (and U.S. Senate hopeful) Hill Harper exited the medical drama ahead of its seventh and final season. He was one of four remaining series regulars from The Good Doctor Season 1, including leading man Freddie Highmore (who stars as Dr. Shaun Murphy), Richard Schiff (who plays Shaun’s surrogate father, Dr. Aaron Glassman) and Chuku Modu (who reprised his role as Dr. Jared Kalu midway through Season 6).

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The Season 6 finale set the stage for Harper’s exit, having Dr. Andrews resign as president — but it wasn’t Tuesday’s Season 7 premiere that his whereabouts were revealed.

Early into the episode, Nurse Dalisay Villanueva (played by recurring guest star Elfina Luk) approached chief of surgery Dr. Audrey Lim (series regular Christina Chang) with an update on Andrews:

Villaneuva: Marcus sends greetings from Spain.
Lim: Oh! I thought he was at a meditation retreat in Vietnam?
Villaneuva: He was… and now he’s walking the Camino de Santiago.

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So, why have Andrews pack up and leave his longtime home in California? “Since he got divorced, Andrews has been juggling a lot [at the hospital] and trying to find a fit for himself,” executive producer Liz Friedman tells TVLine. “He was involved with Salen — that, obviously, was not meant to be — and he had a relationship with Villanueva, but I think the job has been very subsuming for him. To have him take a moment, having stepped down, to go and find himself, seemed like the right thing for the character.”

Official word of Harper’s departure came four months after he announced his candidacy. He is running for political office in the state of Michigan, where he will challenge Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin for the seat currently held by outgoing senator Debbie Stabenow.

“Hill Harper feels strongly that there is a crisis in American democracy — too often, government only works for the rich and powerful while the rest of us struggle to find a voice,” Harper’s campaign spokesperson told TVLine in November. “Hill is dedicating his efforts full time to fixing that, and he’s running for the U.S. Senate as an active union member to give working people more of a voice in Congress.”

Friedman, meanwhile, fully backs Harper’s decision to leave the show and run for office. “I think it’s phenomenal that he is willing to get himself involved and be of service,” she says.

Harper is a lawyer-turned-actor who graduated from Brown University (with Latin honors) and Harvard Law. Prior to The Good Doctor, he starred as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on the long-running CBS procedural CSI: NY, which ran for nine seasons and ended in 2013.

Watch 'The Good Doctor' Season 7, Episode 1 on ABC, Online on Hulu
Watch 'The Good Doctor' Season 7, Episode 1 on ABC, Online on Hulu

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