As hard as it may be to believe, it’s being reported that the network is currently in serious negotiations to bring back Scrubs for a ninth season.
ABC, whose production studio produces the comedy, brought Scrubs to its schedule this season after seven seasons over at NBC. The ratings didn’t warrant it but the move/renewal was made largely because of the revenue that additional episodes would generate in the sitcom’s syndication package.
This year’s rating have been even worse than last, averaging about five million viewers. Both series star Zach Braff and creator Bill Lawrence have said that they were leaving, as has longtime castmember Judy Reyes. On top of that, Donald Faison, John C. McGinley and Neil Flynn have all been cast in new pilots.
Still, the Hollywood Reporter says that ABC is in serious talks with Lawrence and some of the cast to bring Scrubs back for yet another round of episodes. In an April 16th posting on ABC’s Scrubs forum, Lawrence put the chances of renewal at 50/50.
An earlier report said that the deal would be contingent on Braff agreeing to return to appear on a few episodes. In the case of Faison, McGinley, and Flynn, another season of Scrubs would be in “second position” for each of the actors. That means that, if one of their pilot were to get a series order, that actor would only be available for occasional appearances on Scrubs, at best. Since the show’s budget will play a large role in the network’s renewal decision, rotating guest appearances could end up being a plus.
In addition to the additional syndication revenue that season nine would create, the network is reportedly happy with Scrubs as a sitcom lead-in for Better Off Ted. The series that has attracted some critical praise but has also been largely ignored by viewers. ABC is supposedly still considering bringing Ted back next year as well.
Image courtesy ABC.