Scrubs: The ABC Sitcom Is (Finally) Cancelled?

ScrubsThanks to syndication profits, Scrubs is one of those shows that seems to just keep going and going. Could this finally be the end of the road?

Scrubs follows hospital life as seen through the eyes of Dr. J.D. Dorian (Zach Braff). After having left Sacred Heart last season, he’s returned to help teach a new crop of med students. The current cast includes Donald Faison, John C. McGinley, Ken Jenkins, Sarah Chalke, Eliza Coupe, Kerry Bishe, Michael Mosley, and Dave Franco.

Based simply on the ratings, ABC shouldn’t have been renewed the show last season. Scrubs had dwindled to an average of just 4.97 million viewers and a low 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic. It was saved because ABC’s production studio produces the show and another season would bring more money in syndication.

This season, with several members of the cast only popping in occasionally, the ratings have gotten even worse. Thus far, Scrubs has averaged just a 1.6 rating and 3.7 million viewers. That’s bad — like “do not resuscitate” bad.

Next week’s episode of Scrubs marks the season finale and is titled “Our Thanks.” Or is it the series finale as the website says. It’s possible that it’s just a website error but either way, it seems unthinkable that ABC wouldn’t finally cancel the venerable sitcom.

UPDATE: An ABC rep emailed us to say that it’s actually the season finale and that a decision hasn’t been made about the show’s future. She didn’t however return a second email to address why is still calling it the series finale, even 24 hours later, nor why the (supposedly official) Facebook page (as pointed out by “Derek” in our comments) describes this week’s and next week’s as “the final two episodes of the series.”

What do you think? Is next week’s really the last episode of Scrubs? Do you think it’s finally time to say goodbye or is there still some life left in it?

Canceled and renewed TV show

29 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. aXe says

    I must have watched every episode from seasons 1 to 8 at least 7 or 8 times by now. I loved the concept of the show that far:
    I enjoyed JD’s daydreaming sequences and the various character traits of all of the cast (i.e. Zach Braff, Donald Faison, John C. McGinley, Ken Jenkins, Sarah Chalke, Neil Flynn, Judy Reyes, Robert Maschio, Sam Lloyd, Aloma Wright, Christa Miller, and all the other regulars…), especially so JD’s sheepish type, Turk’s self confident attitude, Cox’s self-loving personality with its hard outer shell and soft core, Kelso’s new-found grandpa role, and of course the Janitor and his constant pranks, as well as all the others.
    Also the humor varied from childish, over sarcasm, sexual innuendos and black humor, to all the, often quiet discrete, little jokes in the background and many more. However, all kinds of humor were well balanced and at the right moments throughout the whole series.
    Although I do enjoy more profound entertainment too, I did love it, after a stressful day at the university and/or at work to just come home, sit down and watch something, more superficial that doesn’t require much thinking and that is just meant to have a good time and relax a bit, such as Scrubs.
    Other strengths of the show included that it was not always all fun, but some more touching episodes did occur, e.g. Season 3, Episode 14, My Screwup; and the characters that normally were fairly angry, depressed or other had other personality issues, happened from time to time to give a glimpse of hope that not all is as sincere as it seems, examples include Dr Kelso in S3, E14, when he tells Carla how to handle Turk’s mole-issue, the Janitor loosing for once in S3, E17, when he wants to trick JD and Turk, pretending to have a twin brother, called Roscoe; S3, E5, where Cox takes the advice of JD’s brother, to stop turning JD into the same “type of hard-ass” Cox himself pretends to be; but the most pronounced of all was probably Cox in S8, E19, when he tells “Sunny” how he really feels about JD — that did actually make me squeeze a tear.
    The music choice for the soundtrack, also played an important role and was really well selected and ranged over a multitude of genres. My personal favourite is probably Colin Hay.
    I personally didn’t like season 9 that much, when most of the cast and characters were changed, the plots really seemed burned-out (not sure what the correct English term would be), and under those circumstances they should have left it alone after Season 8. However, I would encourage further seasons, even with the new concept of the medical school, that the hospital was turned in to, maybe by creating a parallel Season 9, with the original main cast and characters, daydream scenes and all the things that made seasons 1 to 8 so brilliant.
    For all it’s worth, please bring back Scrubs!

    • Tom C. McKinell says

      Fair dues mate, you’ve got some valid points there. I completely agree on carrying on with the show, but to somehow bring the old characters back. That’d be awesome, unfortunately, no one, with the power to make a decision, to put it in Bob Kelso’s words, is going to “give a rat’s ass” on what we write here…

  2. Loc says

    Will the producers please kick off the character Cole played by Dave Franco! He’s killing the show and his character is not only annoying but pointless!

  3. Seth says

    I think ABC never gave the new version a real chance. If it was treated as a spin-off instead of a continuance of the former series I think more people would have judged it on its own merits instead of writing it off as simply another season of a show that went massively downhill from its lofty heights early in its run.

    I also think it was a mistake to have Zach Braff in the new version at all as JD’s devolution into a one dimensional character only increased the perception that Scrubs: Med School brought nothing new to the table. It is unfortunate as I was just starting to really enjoy this show, but unfortunately it is was doomed from the word go.

  4. Kefrif says

    Don’t know whether you guys saw it, but Zach Braff posted on his Facebook that Scrubs was now finished. Here’s the exact quote from his status update:-

    “Many of you have asked, so here it is: it appears that “New Scrubs”, “Scrubs 2.0″, “Scrubs with new kids”, “Scrubbier”, “Scrubs without JD” is no more. It was worth a try, but alas… it didn’t work. zb”

  5. dkingray says

    i dont think this is finito,abc have just pulled the series finale from the homepage to wednsdays 8/7 c .this was spotted at around 9 pm on the 16th of march.

  6. says

    I was pleasantly surprised at how well put-together the Med School episodes are. I was also thinking it would be a sign of another show that just didn’t know how to go out with dignity, but it’s not bad at all. Of course it’s different without J.D., but the strength of the writing is still there, and the new characters are fun in and of themselves. Those who balked at it simply because of the change without giving it a chance to succeed with them on its own merits are truly missing out. I’ll miss Med School.

  7. Jereton says

    You know what I think?
    I think everyone who can’t let go and we’re BEGGING for the new scrubs, now letting go because of some changes.
    Come on you guys, scrubs is a great show, Dr. Cox is always still in it, Turk is in it.
    Did you even watched the episodes? I don’t even think you clicked online, you guys are so STUPID, I’m sorry but the girl who plays Lucy, is practicly the new J.D. and I would hate it, ABC if you do close up the show, cause it’s just started, you can go all kind of ways now.
    I for one think it’s a great show, and if it wasn’t you wouldn’t have 5 million watchers for the last episode that you guys pulled.
    I watch Lucy’s famous line; ” Look at all these people that don’t know that I had a backbraice.” every day.
    Please don’t pull the trigger ABC.

    • says

      Well stated. The last year was there best so far and so long as they keep Dr. Cox, I don’t see that chaning. Scrubs Season 10 must come back if not for their DVD sales alone.

  8. Ryan says

    I think they should kick it off. There is no sense in having the show wihtout the guy who made it what it was,J.D. If u want to know my oppinion on shows they should bring back my name is earl.

  9. deez says


  10. dkingray says

    its been a great run ,and i would have been happy with the show if they actually brought back the super seven original cast members,however i do think theres still some life left in it(like at the most another season ) .

  11. John C. Reilly says

    Scrubs is one of my favorite television shows ever, however they should have ended it after the very heartfelt finale last season. Scrubs without JD would be like… The Tonight Show without Conan O’brien. :’-(

    • Hishaam says

      I agree they should’ve let the show go with season 8, what’s Scrubs without the janitor, ted the lawyer plus of course the place:” Sacred heart”.

    • David says

      Scrubs is also one of my favorite shows, but I must disagree with you on the idea that they should of ended after season 8. Although I agree that it would have been a better ending, you have to really think about how many more people got to keep there jobs for another year thanks to ABC’s and Lawerence’s decision. I mean think about it that decision helped give probably somewhere between 150 to 200 people guaranteed work for another season. Its rough out there for people in the TV industry, believe me I have been trying to make it myself, and although I am not on the same level as the people out in Hollywood I completely emphasize with there struggle to make a living. So although season nine probably isn’t the best representation of Scrubs I am still happy they produced it.

  12. Jake says

    Everyone said goodbye to this one last year when they wrote and produced a beautiful finale called MY FINALE. Bringing it back was doomed to fail by falling in the shadows of the earlier series. So I won’t miss it. Better Off Ted, on the other hand, was one of the freshest and most hillarious sitcoms in years, so I do find the similar cancellation of it to be a travesty.

  13. Leo says

    When shows like SCRUBS wrap with their original cast and central trappings, and then still attempt to keep the magic going in some new format, it’s usually big ol’ jump the shark time (think M*A*S*H and AfterMASH). As a SCRUBS fan from the get-go, I figured that this is what would happen with SCRUBS. However valiant, SCRUBS: MED SCHOOL just was gonna pale and peter, and in the bargain maybe even be a bit embarrassing to watch. Instead, the producers and writers did something I can’t recall in any other similar situation — they pulled it off.

    I find the new characters and situations funny, engaging, and endearing, without my ever thinking about the characters from the old series who are no longer there (no, not even J.D.). These new characters stand in their own right and comparisons are unnecessary. The permanent holdovers from the original series, especially John C. McGinley, anchor the new incarnation and make the whole deal a seamless transition and a joy to watch.

    Honestly, I rarely gush like this and can’t adequately express how surprised and delighted I have been with the MED SCHOOL edition of SCRUBS.

    I know there’s only a few of us out there watching and this looks like the end of the road. Still, hats off to one and all involved. You’ve done something that odds dictated would have been almost impossible to do and you did it all the same.

    Many thanks and congratulations.

    • Kevin says

      Wow. Very well said, and your comments echo my thoughts exactly. Scrubs: Med School has been much more than I could have hoped for, and in the end I even found myself pulling for Cole, a character I detested in the beginning. I’d be interested in following this group for another year, but realize that the series has probably been played out with the general TV viewing public. I’ll miss Scrubs, but like a patient who’s been on life support longer than is natural, I’m ready to let it go.

    • says

      This last year of Scrubs was as good as I could possibly have imagined…I didn’t watch it much because of my schedule but watched it when I could on my friend’s DVR and I can honestly say that this last year of Scrubs was they best they have ever had…and I have all of the DVDs going back to Season 1…I hope by some miracle they come back.

      Love and Peace,


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