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April 23, 2014

Scrubs creator has harsh words for NBC

by Erin Martell, posted May 15th 2008 11:03AM
Ken JenkinsScrubs creator Bill Lawrence recently did an interview with TV Guide's Michael Ausiello and took NBC to task for its shoddy treatment of the show. The network cut the comedy's final season short, but the show is getting a second chance on ABC. Lawrence slammed his former network bosses for denying him the opportunity to conclude the show properly, and discussed Scrubs' future on ABC. Here's a brief recap of the interview:
  • Once the strike was over, Lawrence told NBC that he could finish up the season in three episodes instead of the planned seven. NBC had no interest in wrapping up the season in a way that would satisfy fans.

  • He was unhappy with NBC's choice to air "My Princess" as the series finale. The episode was meant to air mid-season, and Lawrence never wanted it to be the season or series finale.
  • NBC gave Lawrence the chance to film a one-hour finale, but only offered to pay for half of it. The network initially wanted ABC to incur all of the episode's expenses, but ABC rejected that idea.
  • The ABC version of Scrubs will still be a comedy, but Lawrence wants to move away from the "incredibly broad, unrealistic moments and fantasies that were both in reality and not in reality." He's hoping to use more of the character-based comedy from the show's second and third seasons.
  • ABC's budget cuts will have a few implications, but Lawrence doesn't expect fans to notice anything. The writing staff is smaller, the episodes are going to be filmed in four-and-a-half days instead of five, and every cast member will take two episodes off.
  • Ken Jenkins, who plays Dr. Kelso, is still a series regular. He'll interact mainly with Dr. Cox, the new Chief of Medicine.
Bill Lawrence certainly didn't hold back in this interview, but I found his honesty refreshing. He was tough on NBC, but was fair enough to criticize some of the writing that he had done in the past. If ABC is going to let him do the kind of writing that he wants to do, the switch is a positive thing. Check back soon for Joel's interview with Lawrence in the next week or so.

Are you looking forward to the new and improved Scrubs?

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Cheesedude

I started watching Scrubs regularly in the 2006 and was hooked. I haven't missed an episode since.

There is no other show like Scrubs around. Scrubs gets into the heads of its characters. There's weird stuff going on in my head, and it seems like there is on other people's, too. It's nice to see it played out on TV.

As for Scrubs being too "slapsticky", I think some of Scrubs funniest moments are such as these. People fart, they trip, they run into closed doors--I do all of these, don't you?

There are so many great episodes of Scrubs and so many hilarious lines, that I could spend hours discussing my favorites.

I am glad Scrubs is coming back. Yes, it has had its ups and downs, but what show hasn't? Even "I Love Lucy" had a few episodes that were stinkers. Scrubs had a few great episodes this season, they had a few great ones in Season 6, and I'm sure they will have more in the future.

Thank goodness ABC picked up Scrubs! I can't wait until January 2009 so I can get more new episodes!

May 18 2008 at 12:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Discosis

Why is ABC cutting the budget?

May 16 2008 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leo

"Scrubs" Has been great since epi 1, Like all shows it has it's highs and low's. But without a doubt I am very happy ABC is picking it up. My Princess Really threw me a curve. I thought I missed something. As per Mr. Lawrence it is sad when you are not given the chance to finish something you started. I don't like the way NBC handled things but I will still watch the channel. Although ABC is now my number one spot. I only watch 3 TV shows Scrubs, CSI, Law and order.

May 16 2008 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alicia

Man... I'm just glad we are getting something real for the last season. NBC has never really had Scrubs "back" as it were...

May 16 2008 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

If the show were still as good as it was in Seasons One and Two, I'm sure NBC would have kept it around. Good riddance, Bill Lawrence.

May 15 2008 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MosquitoControl72

I do hope they go back, as I haven't really watched the past two seasons and haven't been overly enthusiastic when I have. I've caught a handful of great episodes and a handful of awful ones. The earlier seasons had higher and more regular highs.


Also: Las Vegas was on for five years? I would have guessed two. I paid such little attention. I moved to a place without a tv in my bedroom four years ago and really stopped watching for something to do and started only watching when there was something I wanted. I guess it's left me very out of touch with shows I don't follow.

May 15 2008 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jake

This and the Las Vegas sudden cancellation without a proper send off really have me concerned about NBC's trajectory. I for one will not be adding any new NBC shows to my schedule for this reason. I understand it's a business, but NBC should understand that people tune in for stories, not for advertisements. When those stories are left unfinished why should people tune into their network? If NBC ever gets another hit I'll be renting the DVD. No thanks to the prospect of investing time in a show that will be left unwritten. There are too many other alternatives.

May 15 2008 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
driftwood

I'm really glad they're scaling it back. I think it was around season 5...maybe 4...when everything got way too slapsticky. JD turned into an annoying clown, and everything went over the top.

But at the same time there's the issue of going through the same problems over and over on the show. If you make it a drama, you have to way to break up the monotony of some of the usual situations between the characters. Sometimes I start thinking, didn't they work through this same problem two seasons ago?

It's a tough line to balance, but they have to find a way to make it feel new while being less of a cartoon. I think Scrubs deserves a great last season, and this past run made me nervous.

May 15 2008 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Duane

Scrubs has to end someday, so when that day comes I hope it has a proper ending, and not the horrible way that NBC tried to see it off. However, it's annoying never knowing whether a season of your favorite show is going to be the last, it makes it very hard to properly do a story arc. So pick a year, call it the end, and mean it.

May 15 2008 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RC

Is it too much to ask that Scrubs go HD for the last season? It looked so out of place on Thursday night next to Earl, 30 Rock and The Office.

http://bitsmack.com

May 15 2008 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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