"Scrubs is over. I wrote the finale." That's what Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence told me Saturday night at ABC's party at the TCA press tour. It might seem like an odd thing to say, considering that the show is very much alive and well on ABC's schedule — so Lawrence explained a little more.
"I'm writing the first Scrubs like it's a new pilot," he said, moving the setting to medical school and introducing a new cast to surround a few of our Sacred Heart regulars. He even wanted to change the name of the show (to Scrubs Med), but that didn't fly with the network, which wanted to keep the Scrubs brand.
Viewers will see plenty of familiar characters, though: John C. McGinley, Donald Faison, and Eliza Coupe are all regulars, and Zach Braff will be around for at least the show's first six episodes. Lawrence and the show's production team built a new set, shooting medical school scenes in a building across from a slightly renovated version of Sacred Heart. And when the characters head out of the classroom and into the hospital, they'll see other familiar faces (including Judy Reyes, Sarah Chalke, Ken Jenkins, and Neil Flynn — who apparently wrote his own exit from the show) whom Lawrence can hire for an episode or two at a time.
Three new major characters will also be introduced; the "new, young actors" are testing with the network this coming week for their roles. And while the tone will be similar to Scrubs (actually, Lawrence described it as Paper Chase with a hospital set), the show's focus truly will be "21-year-old students in med school starting their first day of hospital care."
Lawrence promises Scrubs 2.0 won't be "a lame, pale imitation" of what we've already seen, and that certainly makes me more curious to tune in when the show returns next season after Dancing with the Stars finishes its next run. What about you?