Lawyer up! The Good Doctor is getting a new character — and a potential spin-off. On March 13, 2023, the beloved medical drama will feature a brand-new character, young law professional Joni DeGroot, in its sixth season.
Played by Nancy Drew star, Kennedy McMann, The Good Lawyer may or may not set the stage for a series of its own. Read on for more details about Episode 16’s lawyer, Joni, and the actress who portrays her.
‘The Good Doctor’ is introducing ‘The Good Lawyer,’ Joni DeGroot.
In Episode 16, titled "The Good Lawyer,” Dr. Shaun Murphy is searching for legal representation after being sued for malpractice when he stumbles upon Joni, a young law professional with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And if all goes well, the episode could serve as a backdoor pilot for a series of its own.
When speaking with ABC about her new character, Kennedy opened up about what sets Joni apart on The Good Doctor. “[Joni] is unique. She’s eager and excitable and whip-smart. She’s essentially a database of information; she holds onto details,” she explained.
“A part of that is because she has obsessive-compulsive disorder. And it certainly has made an impact in her personal and professional life.”
Does Kennedy McMann from 'The Good Doctor' have OCD?
Kennedy also shares a special connection with her new character on ABC.
“I grew up with debilitating OCD,” Kennedy revealed. “I’ve recovered a lot since then, but it’s a huge part of who I am. And acting was sort of my savior; it was my relief. For Joni, it’s not too far off. She really leans into her work and allows that to give her the reprieve from her own mind.”
When approached with the possibility of portraying a young law professional with OCD on The Good Doctor, Kennedy said she believed she could change lives.
“I knew very early on that, if they would let me, I would love to be a part of [the series] to bring (hopefully) what is a genuine and nuanced look at what it’s like to live with OCD,” she said.
So, where have you seen Kennedy McMann before?
The Good Doctor isn’t Kennedy’s first appearance in a television drama series. The Michigan-born actor is best known for starring as Nancy Drew in The CW series of the same name. Nancy Drew is in its third season on the network, receiving relatively positive ratings since its debut in 2019.
Before kick-starting her acting career, The Good Doctor guest star attended the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, where she obtained her bachelor of fine arts in acting. Since then, Kennedy has appeared in Gone, Law & Order: SVU, Tell Me Lies, and more, in addition to Nancy Drew.
Catch Kennedy’s new character Joni DeGroot on The Good Doctor, airing Mondays at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.