EXCLUSIVE: NBC’s medical drama New Amsterdam will wrap its run next season. The series, currently in its fourth season, already has been renewed for the 2022-23 season as part of a three-year pickup. New Amsterdam‘s fifth and final season will be its shortest, consisting of 13 episodes. That will bring the show’s total to 92 episodes.
New Amsterdam, from creator/executive producer David Schulner, director/executive producer Peter Horton and Universal Television, stars Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin, who became the medical director of New Amsterdam, one the country’s oldest public hospitals, with the goal of reforming it by tearing up its bureaucracy to provide better care to patients.
“The story of Max Goodwin, and his never-ending commitment to patients at New Amsterdam, has been inspiring,” said Lisa Katz, President, Scripted Programming, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming. “We’re so grateful to David Schulner, Peter Horton, and our cast and crew for their incredible dedication, talent and collaboration.”
Through its first four seasons, New Amsterdam has aired in the same time slot, Tuesday at 10 p.m. The medical drama came out of NBC’s first development cycle following the breakout success of This Is Us and contains a similar emotional storytelling DNA, which landed it the plum time period behind the flagship family drama.
“When I first read the pilot script for New Amsterdam, I knew we had a winner. We cheered Max’s disruption of the status quo and applauded when he asked his patients the simple yet profound question, ‘How can I help?’,” said Erin Underhill, President, Universal Television. “Over the last four seasons, David, Peter and our incredible cast have tackled important and thought-provoking stories that have touched on the human condition, but also made us laugh and imbued hope. We’re so proud of this series and are indebted to everyone involved in bringing New Amsterdam to life. Bravo!”
Following a hot start during the 2018-19 season, New Amsterdam has slipped in the ratings, currently ranking below most established NBC dramas, which makes for challenging economics given its cost. Still, it remains a respectable performer, averaging a 1.13 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.2 million viewers in Live+7 and multi-platform viewing this season despite air-pattern challenges. New Amsterdam returned for four episodes in January before taking a monthlong break for the Winter Olympics. The drama then aired one original episode February 22 before going on another hiatus until April 19 to make room for the State of the Union and Renée Zellwegger’s true-crime limited series The Thing About Pam. The Season 4 finale is slated for May 24.
Schulner spoke of the legacy of New Amsterdam that goes beyond economics, ratings and awards.
“As my emotions swing from sadness to pride, I’d like to share New Amsterdam‘s recognition by the World Health Organization, which makes us more proud than any award or non-linear 30-day ratings curve ever could,” he said.
Schulner is referring to a letter he’d received last year from Christopher Bailey, the Arts and Health lead at the WHO, in which he told him and his team “how much many of us at WHO appreciate your work and your show.”
New Amsterdam was praised for its efforts to “fold in public health issues and approaches that don’t often make it to hospital or medical television shows,” including environmental damage caused by hospitals and how to make them environmentally sustainable, nutrition and affordability of health care. Also getting high marks were the series’ Covid montage and “Dr. Max’s occasional quixotic forays into community engagement,” with Bailey indicating that Max’s letters to WHO on the show, demanding that racism is included in the next version of the International Classification of Disease, are being taken to heart.
“But perhaps the most important aspect of the show, an aspect of health that we hold centrally to our mission, is the ‘person centered’ approach to health the show takes,” the letter said.
In one of the biggest votes of confidence ever for a young series, New Amsterdam received a three-season pickup in January 2020 when the show was not even midway through its second season.
Just two months later, New Amsterdam found itself eerily blending fiction and reality at the onset of the pandemic. Set and shot in New York, the initial epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in the U.S., the series had just shot an episode about a deadly flu pandemic in NYC. Written in 2019 and originally titled “Pandemic,” the episode was later renamed “Our Doors Are Always Open.” A recurring guest star introduced in that episode, Daniel Dae Kim, soon tested positive, and a writer and three New Amsterdam crew members got sick in one of the first cases of coronavirus on a TV production.
NBC ultimately decided to shelve indefinitely the flu pandemic episode, which had been slated for April 7, a couple of weeks into the pandemic. Season 2 ended up airing 18 episodes. Season 3, whose start of production was delayed by the pandemic and the need to build new sets as the real hospital the show had been using was taking in Covid patients, produced 16 episodes. (Seasons 1 and 4 consist of 22 episodes each.)
As the only medical drama filming in New York, New Amsterdam also sprung into action in the dark first days of the pandemic and delivered PPE, masks, gloves, gowns and face masks to the New York State Department of Health when, overwhelmed by exponentially growing new infections, the city was running dangerously low of medical supplies.
In the current fourth season, Max, who had left his position as medical director of New Amsterdam to be with Dr. Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) in the UK, has returned to challenge his successor, the bureaucratic new director Dr. Veronica Fuentes (Michelle Forbes), who has been undoing the changes Max had fought to implement.
In addition to Eggold and Agyeman, New Amsterdam‘s main cast includes Janet Montgomery, Jocko Sims and Tyler Labine. This season, the show also added a recurring new character, a deaf doctor, Dr. Elizabeth Wilder, who is played by deaf actor Sandra Mae Frank. New Amsterdam has been lauded for casting disabled actors as medical professionals throughout its run, with Rachel Handler, who is an amputee, among previous examples.
Creator Schulner and director Horton executive produce with Michael Slovis, David Foster, Shaun Cassidy, Aaron Ginsburg and Erika Swafford-Green. New Amsterdam is produced by Universal Television, Pico Creek Productions and Mount Moriah. Serving as producer is Dr. Eric Manheimer, the former medical director at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital and author of the memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, which inspired the series.