This medical comedy-drama earned a loyal fan base that kept the series going for nine seasons on two networks. Created by Spin City producer Bill Lawrence, it was set at fictional Sacred Heart Hospital.
Young attending physician John Michael "J.D." Dorian was the main character; he narrated each episode and told the story from his own point of view. His best friend was Christopher Turk, a chief surgeon; the two had a very close relationship-or "bromance," in the lingo of the era. Sarah Chalke (Roseanne) played fellow intern Elliot Reid, who had a on-again, off-again romance with J.D. Perry Cox was a supervisor who constantly berated J.D. as a way to get him ready for the real world of medicine.
Other characters included head nurse Carla Espinosa, who eventually married Turk; hospital official Bob Kelso who was more concerned about the bottom line than the patients; and the "Janitor" who had an adversarial relationship with J.D. (The Janitor's real name was never disclosed.)
Unlike some series, Scrubs allowed its characters to grow and change during its run. But while critics loved the results, the ratings were only adequate; its peak was the second season, when it ranked 14th among all series. Still, NBC kept renewing Scrubs-but after seven seasons, the network finally let it go. ABC then picked up the series (not surprisingly, since the show was produced by ABC's studio).
The show returned in early 2009 as a mid-season replacement, and the May 6th episode ("My Finale") was expected to be the final one. But ABC renewed Scrubs for a ninth season, and Bill Lawrence revamped the show to cut costs by changing the focus from the hospital to the classroom. Turk and Cox returned as professors to a class of new medical students; even J.D. returned for a few episodes. But the revamped Scrubs was nowhere near as satisfying as the old format, and fans stayed away. Zack Braff probably summed up the final season best in a message to his fans on Facebook: "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."
Published on January 27th, 2019. Written by Mike Spadoni for Television Heaven.