Scrubs: Sitcom May Get Season Nine But Zach Braff’s Leaving

ScrubsIn 2006, it was looking questionable about the future of the NBC sitcom Scrubs. Series star Zach Braff said that he didn’t expect the series to go another year. But, few months later, Braff signed a $350,000-per-episode contract for the series’ seventh and supposedly final year.

Season seven was interrupted by the writers strike so production was shutdown before all of the episodes could be filmed. When the strike was over, series creator Bill Lawrence asked NBC to let them go back into production to film the remaining episodes and finish the series properly. The network decided against it. The quirky series has never been a big success for NBC and has been the subject of a tug-of-war between the peacock network and ABC (whose production company produces the sitcom). To little surprise, NBC cancelled the show in May. Since Scrubs performs well in syndication, it made sense for ABC to pick it up for themselves for season eight, the “final season.”

Will the show really end next May? While it once appeared that the end date was a sure thing, it looks like the show could continue. When ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson picked up the series for season eight, the exec apparently told Lawrence that, if the series performed well, he might want to renew it for season nine. Lawrence says, “It’s a real conundrum for me. Whether the show goes on or not is really tough. I don’t just mean making cash, ’cause I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. We’ve got a family there and a crew of people and a landscape that’s not friendly now to TV production. And they love it there.”

One thing’s for sure, if there is a ninth season, the sitcom will have to do without its longtime narrator. It seems Braff’s been yearning to focus on his film career and his Scrubs contract expires at the end of season eight. Braff recently confirmed that the upcoming season will be his last, saying, “Thanks to Steve, this has been a bonus amazing year, but my sense is that this is my last year.” Lawrence says, “J.D. will be leaving the hospital and without giving away too much, the show is about whether, when you leave [a job], you can hold on to your relationships or not.”

If the sitcom ends up continuing without him, Braff says he’d be open to returning. “I hope to be able to visit and direct some episodes and do craft services, if they need the help.”

Would you watchScrubs without Zach Braff?

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The uncertainty of the show’s fate creates another challenge for Lawrence. One of the show’s ongoing jokes has been that we never hear the name of the “Janitor” (Neil Flynn). Lawrence has said that he would only reveal the custodian’s name in the final episode. Filming of season eight should be completed by September 1st but the decision to renew the show won’t be made until next year, possibly not until next May. What to do?

Well, Lawrence has a plan. He told IfMagazine, “We have to shoot it two ways because if I shoot what his name is in the final show and the show’s gonna go on, I wouldn’t want it to air that way, because he’d still be on the show. So we’ll shoot a backup, alternate part of him and Zach when Zach leaves, one that he says his name and one he doesn’t.”

So, will we learn Janitor’s real name next May as J.D. says goodbye or, will we see if the sitcom can survive without Braff for season nine? Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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5 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Anonymous says

    Janitors name is thomas I googled it.

    and I will still always wach scrubs forever no matter what I love it soo much its my fav show and always will be but with out Zach (JD) it wont be the same with out him but hopefully it will still be good : )

  2. says

    I would still watch it becuase the other characters are great but, also hearing that judy reyes(carla) is also leaving but it won’t be the same with out Zach Braff with the janitor on his case and also Dr.Cox(John C. McGinley) who gets on him but, you never know what could happen I would hate to see the show go off I can’t get enough of the show.

  3. says

    i think the janitors name is josh! he says something about it in one of the episodes about he being dumb ” ive been called of things zebra pocher, josh and i accept these because they are some what true”

    who knows

  4. Tom says

    As much as I LOVE JD, I love the show Scrubs more as a whole, and I would continue watching it if the show carries on without Zack. However the show will never be the same again, which is a pity because my opinion is that Scrubs is by far the BEST Comedy Drama ever, ever.

  5. Sean says

    I so love this show and seriously, if Zach leaves, it wouldn’t really be a show. It’s more or less centered around JD. Shows that continue after their main character leave, i.e. That 70’s Show, never do well. I’d hate to see that show milked like that.

    Personally, I think the janitor’s name is going to be possibly the creators name… or director or something to that effect.

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