Scrubs was supposed to end last year on NBC. Then, it was supposed to just go away, with fans not allowed to even see the finale as it should have been. But, then, a TV miracle happened – ABC swooped in like a comedy Robin Hood and picked the show up for its eight season. So, in the rarest of moves, Scrubs will have aired on one channel for eight years and, in all likelihood, move to another channel for its final season. Just like last season was assumed to be Scrubs’ last, this season is again assumed to be its final bow. However, it appears that Scrubs is a show that just won’t die. Although Scrubs’ eighth season finished filming its final episode recently, there are rumblings that Scrubs could live to see at least one more additional season, albeit without much of the original cast. Even if Scrubs is given this opportunity, should Scrubs come back?
The idea is this: On the new season of Scrubs a group of new interns will be introduced. They will be played by Aziz Ansari, Eliza Coupe, Sonal Shah, Betsy Beutler and Todd Bosley. These interns will slowly be integrated into the show during season eight. If the fan and critical reaction is positive enough towards these new characters, then ABC might think about picking Scrubs up for another season, but with a new generation of characters. Other characters could also remain. The only two actors who have publicly announced that they will not be back if Scrubs continues: Zach Braff and Judy Reyes. Sarah Chalke is reportedly interested in possibly returning. Bill Lawrence, Scrubs creator and show runner, has also made it known that, even if Scrubs gets picked up for a ninth season, he may not return to the show.
The question is – even if the new characters seem promising, should Scrubs continue on past this season? What season nine would essentially be is Scrubs: The New Class. Total cast turnovers can work, but the success rate is low. I guess the most prescient example of a show that was able to remain successful after a massive cast turnover is ER. Though a drama, it is the same hospital setting and, as it enters its final year of existence, ER has exactly zero original cast members. I suppose that if the interns are funny enough on Scrubs, then it can overcome any practical worries. Or, better yet, if the ratings are good, then who cares about anything else?
As of right now, the uncertainty around Scrubs is readily apparent. It’s slated to come back at mid-season on ABC, but there is nothing concrete. In theory, it could be back as soon as ABC needed it. As I said, filming on the season is complete. No one knows what time slot it will fall in, or what day it will be on. This is important when considering the prospects for a ninth season because the plausibility of it will rest first and foremost on how solid this season’s ratings are. If good, season nine is possible. If bad, throw those plans out the window.
Scrubs has led a long and fruitful TV life. Very few shows go five seasons, let alone eight. As a long-time fan, I almost wish that Scrubs would just pack it in after this upcoming eighth season. The series has dipped in quality for a few seasons, and it’s better to quit before you disappoint the fan base. However, if the ninth season is financially viable and the new interns breathe some life into the the series, why the hell not? Might as well keep going. The world needs as much good comedy as it can get.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of ABC)