Scrubs makes its ABC debut tonight for its eighth and possibly last season. And with the new season comes a new guest star (Courtney Cox, appearing for a multi-episode arc) and a whole new set of interns.
Why introduce new characters in what’s supposedly the comedy’s swan song year? Apparently, in case the series goes on for a ninth season. Creator Bill Lawrence (who’s currently working on a sitcom pilot for ABC titled Cougar Town) and star Zach Braff have both said they’re leaving after this season and the series/season finale is already in the bag. But if Scrubs performs well for ABC (which is desperately lacking in the comedy department), the network could renew the series, with or without Lawrence and Braff.
According to The New York Times, Lawrence is fine with that. If it keeps his cast and crew employed, he’s not Grinchy enough to object. For his own part, Braff says he might even be willing to continue recording the voice-overs that provide the framework for each episode.
Of course, that’s all dependent on the series pulling in good numbers for ABC–something it was never quite able to do on NBC. Scrubs has always been something of an acquired taste, what with its goofy dream sequences, recurring (some might even call them repetitive) jokes, broad slapstick, and a tone that sometimes borders on the schmaltzy (all of which is why we love it, of course). And being the only half-hour comedy on ABC’s schedule probably won’t help the envelope-pushing show find an audience.
So for now, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy these 18 episodes as the gift they are–the closure I never thought I’d get for this beloved underdog series.