One of the many concerns with regards to the current writers strike is how it will affect the new series that are just building up some momentum. Worrying about whether or not the growing popularity of series like Chuck and Pushing Daisies will suffer should they be forced to go on an early hiatus is a definite issue, but what about the series that are about to wrap up their final seasons next spring?
Scrubs is one of the series I’m referring to. The season that is currently airing on NBC is set to be the last for the comedy series. The problem is, with the strike preventing studios from producing new episodes, there’s a chance that the series finale might never happen. For fans of Scrubs, who’ve stuck by the series for seven years, the idea that the show could end without an actual end probably seems preposterous.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence was asked to write an alternate ending to the last episode of the first half of the season. That way if the strike happened, they’d be able to close out the series halfway through the season if they needed to. The Heroes writers were asked to do the same thing but in the case of that NBC series, its only the second season so the story would be able to continue next fall if it were cut short due to the strike.
Lawrence opted not to do an alternate ending and wrote the scripts as he normally would have regardless of the threat of a strike. Well the strike has happened and though the season is supposed to run for 18 episodes, only “roughly seven” were shot before the strike started.
So what happens if the strike runs on for months and no new episodes of Scrubs are produced? Lawrence says he intends to write a proper finale for the series and hopes that he’ll be able to work out a deal with NBC to get it produced and aired, even if it has to wait until next season. There’s also a chance that the finale could air on ABC. ABC’s programming chief, Steve McPherson developed the series.
As crappy as it would be for Scrubs to end without a finale, I admire Lawrence’s choice to stick with his initial plan for the final season. Sure, he’s run the risk of having his show end abruptly but its probably better than trying to jam an ending into the halfway point of the season. Scrubs might be just another half-hour comedy but hidden between all of the wisecracking banter and hospital-humor, there’s an actual story being told. The devoted fans of this show deserve a real ending. Let’s just hope that NBC allows that to happen.