Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good news/bad news for 'Scrubs'

In a fashion sadly, amusingly reminiscent of the show's entire run on NBC, the penultimate episode of "Scrubs" this season is being bumped this Wednesday (along with the "Better Off Ted" season finale) by President Obama's latest primetime press conference. Both that "Scrubs" episode and the "Ted" finale will now air a week from tonight at 8, the night before the "Scrubs" season finale.

And, yes, there now appears to be a decent chance that it will just be a season finale and not a series finale. The Hollywood Reporter says ABC and Bill Lawrence are seriously discussing how to make a ninth season work, and that tracks with what I've heard in the last couple of days. Thoughts on this coming up after the jump...

Zach Braff's definitely going to be gone (though he might come back on occasion), and none of the other actors have contracts, with some of them (including Donald Faison, John C. McGinley, Neil Flynn and even Eliza Coupe, who I'm assuming would be one of the main characters of any "Scrubs: the Next Generation"-type series) already cast in other pilots that at the moment would have first position, contractually. But most pilots don't get picked up, and I imagine there's some combination of old and new castmembers (and producers, since Bill will theoretically be busy with his own pilot, "Cougar Town") that could be assembled to make it work.

So here's my question, which I've been asking on occasion in my "Scrubs" episode reviews this season: do you want the show to continue? While this season has benefited from a back-to-basics approach, it's also benefited (as other comedies like "Cheers" and "Frasier" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" did) from the production team's knowledge that the end was in sight, and their desire to use up all their best ideas while they still could. As good as some of the new interns have been -- with Coupe's surly Denise at the head of that class -- I wonder if the same energy level will be there a year from now.

On the other hand, if it means there's a chance of more Turk dancing, or more Cox rants, or more of Denise threatening to punch old men... well, I'm sure willing to give it a shot.

What do you think? More "Scrubs" a good idea, or would diminishing returns set in again?

47 comments:

Jake said...

Right now, Zach Braff is the center of the show. Who would become the new center?
Also, does Braff not returning mean that Elliot also won't return? How would they have one without the other assuming their relationship doesn't fall apart again?

Anonymous said...

Hey, if it helps Better Off Ted come back...

Chris Littmann said...

OK, so for those of us scoring at home ... No Better of Ted this week, No Scrubs this week. Two Scrubs eps next week and the season finale of Better Off Ted? And Scrubs will go back-to-back on Tuesday/Wednesday while B.O.T. will be on Tuesday?

Cathryn said...

I think I want to end Scrubs now, on a high note. I don't want them to continue it and then screw it up, it's been so great this season.

Have you seen the ultimate and penultimate episodes yet, Alan?

Anonymous said...

Pull the plug on Scrubs now. Even more popular shows like Friends should have quit 2 seasons sooner. Friends was winding down and then got re-energized when they thought it was their last season. Then they brought it back 2 more seasons and it just got worse and worse. If they want to do a spin-off aka Boston Legal, that's different. But Scrubs as we know it is over. This is the natural time for Scrubs to end. Pull the plug.

bsangs said...

Yeah, as much as I'll miss it, I'd pull the plug too. This has been a great send off season. No reason to come back and lamely drag it on COUGH! - The Simpsons - COUGH! just because they could.

But hopefully, Better of Ted gets another season.

Brian said...

Have Dr. Kelso open a private practice with some of the interns/hospital staff. Ken Jenkins can pull it off. Think of it as a spinoff instead of a continuation of Scrubs.

John said...

ANOTHER season?

This is silly. I've loved Scrubs but it is over. Bill Lawrence must be in denial.

Isn't Zach Braff definitely leaving? You can't do a show without its main character, look how lame That 70's Show got when they took away Eric.

MikeS said...

Scrubs has been my favorite show on TV for years now, but I think it may have run it's course.

Especially if some actors return, some don't. (For instance, if Turk would return, but Carla would not).

And of course, it's par for the course that Scrubs would get tossed around and bumped even on it's new lifeboat network...

Heather said...

Yeah, it needs to end. I love Scrubs, but this season has been good where the last couple were definitely not, and continuing it would just ruin the Scrubs goodwill I still have. And it's not like we'll have a chance to miss it, since it's on in syndication roughly 24 hours a day.

jcpdiesel21 said...

Scrubs should end. It's been very enjoyable this season, but it doesn't have that much life left in it. Let it go out on a high note instead of dragging it out for one more season.

Jordan said...

I love scrubs, always have, always will, but it's time to go. It went on longer than it should have, have a great season when they knew they were going to end it, and that should be it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

OK, so for those of us scoring at home ... No Better of Ted this week, No Scrubs this week. Two Scrubs eps next week and the season finale of Better Off Ted? And Scrubs will go back-to-back on Tuesday/Wednesday while B.O.T. will be on Tuesday?

Correct.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow. I would imagine those of us leaving comments on a message board about the show are just about the most hard core fans Scrubs has. And if the votes here are a landslide for the show to end, that has to be a good indicator that another season is unwanted.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Scrubs can set a record by having a series finale for six straight seasons. Or maybe it could try to have a series finale on all 4 networks.

2012... Scrubs, the Mini-Series with Richard Chamberlain and Levar Burton.

Anonymous said...

As a tv critic how can you possibly advocate for this kind of thing? One of the big problems with network television is that executives squeeze every last drop out of something as long as its even slightly profitable without any regard for quality. There is actually such a thing as going out gracefully. Ask cable. Or anyone in the UK. Scrubs has already probably missed the boat on that as it is, but coming back for a 9th season with a new cast? Are you kidding me?

Dan said...

I don't think Bill Lawrence would continue Scrubs if he didn't have an idea and a plan.

So yeah, I would be in for more Scrubs.

It could be right thing for ABC Family as well, paired with Greek or one of their other new comedies.

dyb said...

I don't think Bill Lawrence would continue Scrubs if he didn't have a mortgage. Fixed that for you.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much the same situtation as when Bill Lawrence and Michael J. Fox left Spin City. And what happened then? We got a god awful last season with Charlie Sheen which tainted that show's memory for all time.

Let Scrubs go out on a high note please. I don't see how they could pull it off without Zach Braff.

Tosy And Cosh said...

Count me as another vote for continuing. It'd be more of a spin-off than anything, but that's really the only way it would work. J.D., Turk, Carla, Elliot - all of their stories are played out. Keep some of the new blood, add some more, and keep a few background players (Ted, the Todd, Kelso). I'd watch.

Bgklein said...

Its tough because I've prepared myself to say goodbye all year. I think that if it continue's it would have to be a "Next Generation" type show, as opposed to concentrating on long-time characters who would be returning. I do want more, but I've come to terms with this "generation" ending

LA said...

Oh dear god, let Scrubs end this season as planned, while it's having (as someone called it) a terrific victory lap. Otherwise, it becomes *that* show. No one wants that.

If anything comes back next season, it should only be Legal Custodians.

Q Ball said...

I have loved Season 8 and am a huge Scrubs fan, but I have to echo the sentiments of everyone else. J.D. is the heart of the show and once his story ends, the show should end as well.

If Season 9 is happening I'm sure there will be funny moments, but the show itself will not have the "Scrubs-quality" which even the subpar Season 6 possessed.

Anonymous said...

I know two actors who are available from another show that wouldn't die... Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne Smith. Next year can be called "According to Scrubs".

Friends don't let friends overstay their welcome.

Kensington said...

I'm in, at least initially, although I'll be very unhappy if Eliza Coupe isn't involved.

Here's the thing: ABC will have the slot, and they'll have to fill it with something, so why not Scrubs if the Scrubs team still thinks they can make it worthwhile?

If you're really opposed, then don't think of it as Scrubs. Think of it as a new series from some of the creative forces that made Scrubs.

Mark B said...

Have Dr. Kelso open a private practice with some of the interns/hospital staff. Ken Jenkins can pull it off. Think of it as a spinoff instead of a continuation of Scrubs.

Kind of like AfterMASH? [shudders]
It may be time to end, otherwise, they continue like ER, and these blog entries get filled with wise-ass "is that show still on?" comments (as though it's being said for the first time).

As for actors being in pilots, are they obligated if the show gets picked up? Roles get recast all the time between the pilot and the eventual series. If the producers can cut an actor (this year, Larry Miller was replaced with Ed Begley in "Gary Unmarried"), can't an actor opt out as well?

Pamela Jaye said...

AfterScrubs?

As one of the 4 people who watched AfterMASH and doesn't remember a thing about it, let me say

I'll watch anything that takes place in a hospital.

They did write a finale for Scrubs, though, unlike last years debacle, right?

I'm nor sure if it's got enough power to Boston Legal it 0 and having just dumped the last season of The Practice to DVD, I came say, they really did sort of switch shows that last season, but then, that meast switching locations and this... doesn't.
It may not be Scrubs but I can spare it a half hour.
(are they sure they wouldn't like to grab another half hour and just take Chuck instead? not that I believe the rumors but the CW is a terrible place to be. especially around her, in analog cable)

I don't quite get people wanting to leave (contracts aside) - when I did the WB tour, they said sitcoms shot three weeks on and one week off and came back from hiatus a month later than the hour longs.
Was that just at WB?
It seems less backbreaking than what the drama have to do.

It would be weird about the voiceover, though.

Grey's only has two seasons left (and they've given Shonda yet another new distracttion) - I'm going to be missing that a lot (unless they do weird things to making as boring as the last season of Ally McBeal)

St Elsewhere had two final seasons, right?

Pamela Jaye said...

"funny moments" must be mixed with heartwarming moments. The question really isn't will I watch it, it's would I buy the DVD?
Until I saw My Old Lady, I didn't realize what I'd stumbld into

ghoti said...

I think they should continue, but the show should be a spinoff called "Interns".

I love, love, love Sam Lloyd's theme song for the webisodes!

If they could bring back all the interns (and Coupe leaving would be a dealbreaker) along withsome combination of McGinley, Jenkins, Lloyd and Flynn and a few of the other minor characters, that would be a money show!

In fact, most of this season's pitfalls have been involving too familiar storylines with JD, Elliot, Carla and Turk. I think telling new stories with new characters would re-energize the show. The writers could be creative without having to force 20 callbacks and inside jokes into every episode.

However, I think calling the show "Scrubs" without those four would be very strange. I'd like it better if it were technically a spinoff.

dez said...

If it were a spinoff, I would give it a chance, but "Scrubs" as "Scrubs" needs to end this season, on a high note as others have mentioned.

Alas said...

@John: for years I would stumble upon that 70's show and always thought "This show is still on, who are these people?"

Think of it as a new series from some of the creative forces that made Scrubs. Like Sit down, Shut up?

@dyb: and 3 kids...

Anonymous said...

From the producers who brought you eight season of "Scrubs" comes a new spinoff... "Scrubs, Season Nine".

Wacky new characters like D.J., Ellie, Duck, Karla, Dr. Shaft, "the custodian", and Robert Lesko.

The same producers, writers, key grips, and best boys you crave without the characters you love.

Tune into the new series "Scrubs, Season Nine", which will totally be sold into sydication as a companion to the first eight season of a different show called "Scrubs".

EOTW said...

So is speechifying BHO gonna bleed into LOST? Frankly, there should be a rule that NOTHING can pre-empt LOST, no matte what. Guess I have to DVR the whole dang night now! Thanks a lot, swineflu, bad economy!!!

Craig Ranapia said...

Got to agree with Heather @9.27. 'Scrubs' managed to pull far enough out of a slough of suck to go out with some dignity. (And much as I like Denise, anyone really think Eliza Coupe is going to carry Scrubs: TNG? Apart from the psychotically perky one whose name I can't remember, none of the interns are really firing for me.)

Anonymous said...

I just don't get it. Would a Scrubs spinoff attract any new viewers? Plus judging by this board it looks like some of the current viewers would bail.

I can see the producers wanting another year to sell to syndication. But why would the network want an even lower rated 9th season?

Larry said...

Even though this season has been good, I am at this point just wanting to see the end of the story. Call it perseverance for watching the past few seasons. The new interns added some life to the show, but once Aziz Ansari left, I just don't see the makings of a great ensemble. If I had to vote, bring back Better Off Ted (please).

Rick said...

Not that I don't care about Scrubs, but will the pre-emption affect Lost? (Same network, same night)

I suppose the fact that I'm asking about Lost here implies what I think about Scrubs staying for another season.

David said...

Sadly, it's time to say good-bye. I'd rather see a Denise spinoff than have this show continue.

dez said...

Apart from the psychotically perky one whose name I can't remember,Her name is Sunny.

I would also vote to bring back "Better Off Ted."

Anonymous said...

I've been watching from the get-go, and I want this to be it. Fin.

Anonymous said...

Having Scrubs without Zach Braff is similar to the way the 8th season of HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET took the detectives out of the Crimes Against Persons unit and spread their stories all over Baltimore, or the way the 6th season of NEWSRADIO shut down the station in NYC and had all of the staffers joining Jimmy James at a small AM shop in New Hampshire.
Of course both of those seasons never too place; they were ultimately dismissed as bad ideas and the great shows we remember finished their runs. That'd be the right resolution here as well.

Jonathan said...

Bringing Scrubs back for another season at this point would be like getting together with your ex-girlfriend because the breakup “relations” were so good. This last season has been good because simply because it is the last season and should not be used as an appropriate gauge for continuing.

Heather said...

Uh... no. I love Scrubs even its "bad" seasons, but to have it continue when it clearly looks like it'll have a solid ending? Don't make it like 7th Heaven. Please, just end it to make us fans happy.

On the other hand, renew Better off Ted. I have never actually seen a full episode, but the last five minutes I see before Scrubs always looks great.

Anonymous said...

I am a diehard fan who faithfully followed Scrubs throughout all the changed days and time slots.
But please end it now with dignity.

Matt said...

Let the show end, I say. The season we're watching now was more than we were expecting anyway; something to properly wrap up the show after they didn't get the chance. Were it not for the writer's strike we would have said goodbye to the show while it was still on NBC last year (and let's not forget that THAT season was one more than anticipated - if I recall correctly, the writers were gearing up to end the show with season six).

This season has been great, but if you ask me that's because the cast and crew were determined to take the show out on the high note it came in on.

I love Scrubs, but the time for it to end has come.

Jackson aka Jay Fantasy said...

What is you peoples problem. where is your scrubs spirit? DO NOT END SCRUBS BRING IT BACK PAY ZACH BRAFF MORE MONEY JUST PLEASE BRING IT BK :(:(:( itz lyk ma favourite program they need to save it dont let zach braff go it was his and turks antics tht made the show worth watching. what was you peoples favourite thing to watch in scrubs

Anonymous said...

My wife and I just watched the last show on our DVR.

Great "finale" episode for a season, but even better one for a series.

ABC let's let Scrubs go peacefully into that good night, with class and dignity.