The State of Scrubs and Studio 60


In the new Weinstein Company comedy The Ex, Zach Braff and Amanda Peet play husband and wife, but for the last few years, they’ve been married to their respective NBC series “Scrubs” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” While it already looks like “Studio 60” has given up the ghost, the state of “Scrubs” returning for a seventh season is still up in the air, so at the press conference for The Ex, asked the two stars to update their fans on the status of their shows.

“We don’t know,” Braff said when asked. “I don’t know about ‘Scrubs.’ It will probably be one of those things that gets decided at the last second. I think it will be on. We’re just not sure, but there’s a chance that it will be on ABC, because they seem to want it. They pay for it and they like it. Steve McPherson, when he was the head of Touchstone, developed the show and then ABC didn’t pick it up. It’s sort of been his baby for the long time. What’s the analogy? He tried to give the baby to his parent, but the parent didn’t want it, so now that the baby could be up for adoption and he’s in position to be able to care for the childÂ…”

“I think the audience will be very disappointed if this were the end of the show,” he added, “because Bill Lawrence, the creator of the show, doesn’t love cliffhangers, ’cause he feels it’s such a common thing to do, but everyone sort of talked him into it this season and he put a giant cliffhanger at the end of the season. If this were the end of the series, knowing what it is, I think the entire fanbase would be furious the series ended with this beat.” Jason Bateman, who co-stars with Braff in The Ex and has some experience with cancelled TV shows, suggested they could resolve the story with a film, but was probably being facetious due to the state of the rumored “Arrested Development” movie. One can look forward to an upcoming episode in which Keri Russell plays a mermaid and Donald Faison dresses up like a minotaur.

Braff said that they’d probably know what’s going on in less than two weeks (May 15) and that would also decide the fate of when he shoots his remake of Susanne Bier’s Open Hearts, which he’s making for Paramount. If the show starts shooting its next season in August, than he’ll probably wait until next Spring with that.

“I don’t know the fate of ‘Studio 60.’ I think we’ll probably find out in June,” Peet responded to the same question despite the reports of it definitely being cancelled, and she mused on why the show might not have taken off the way some people hoped. “I don’t know why the show didn’t work. It was definitely very ambitious, but there’s a part of me that wonders if right when we came out of the gates, there was such a huge buzz and push about it. I wonder if it had been an unknown writer/creator instead of Aaron Sorkin if we would have a little bit more time for the show to find its tone and its focus. Is it a comedy? Are we doing sketches? Are we doing the behind-the-scenes executive thing? What are we doing? I think because we were under a microscope from the moment we arrived, I think it was very difficult for the creators to feel free to follow the strengths of the show and see it through.” She added that they actually did shoot the full season of 22 episodes for the season with the show returning for sweeps.

Peet’s done a lot more movies than television in her career, but she finds television just as satisfying. “I think that it depends on the writing. If Aaron Sorkin is offering to write for you potentially for six years, that’s a really hard offer to give up. I’m married to a writer so I lean towards that. You can’t be good unless you have good writing.”

Braff would also continue to want to do TV if given the chance. “I love TV,” he said. “I think it’s a great medium. When it’s great, it’s really good, and when it’s bad, it’s really bad, but sometimes, the really bad shows are great. Like ‘I Love New York’, that’s a piece of art to me. I will do TV in some capacity, directing or producing. I think I’ll take a break from acting on a show when ‘Scrubs’ is over, just because it would be fun to do more in film.”

Look for more with Braff and the cast of The Ex next week before it opens on May 11.