Scrubs a Near Lock for Next Fall

Thursday-night comedy Scrubs will be back for a seventh season on either NBC or ABC, according to creator Bill Lawrence.

With the Touchstone Television-produced show now in syndication, Lawrence says, should NBC pass on bringing the show back, it will find a home at Touchstone’s corporate cousin, ABC. "Since every produced episode makes a ton of money for Touchstone," Lawrence says, "they told us not to write a finale for this year."

The show has a strong chance of returning to NBC next year, he adds. "We’ve essentially been told that NBC is really happy with how we are doing. I would say it’s better than a coin flip we are back on NBC."

Airing at 9 p.m. between The Office and rookie 30 Rock, Scrubs is averaging a solid 3.5 rating/9 share in the adult 18-49 demo as part of a Thursday-night comedy block that is cherished by NBC President Kevin Reilly. At a median age of 36.1, it is the network’s youngest-skewing primetime series.

"NBC isn’t the same juggernaut anymore," Lawrence says, "but it still feels cool to be on Thursdays."

But he understands that there is less financial motivation for NBC to keep the Touchstone-produced show on the network. "The show is a dinosaur, on one network and completely owned by another," he acknowledges.

And Touchstone continues to show faith in the show. The studio greenlighted a Jan. 18 musical episode at double the cost of a typical installment.

Lawrence also says that the show would not continue without star Zach Braff, but he "feels pretty good" that Braff is on board for a seventh and final season.