July 15, 2005

Left off NBC lineup, ‘Scrubs’ makes Emmy’s cut

By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It took three years, but
Emmy voters finally showed some love to NBC's quirky medical
comedy "Scrubs" Thursday, giving it a seat in the elite comedy
series nominees circle and a lead comedy actor nomination for
star Zach Braff.

The recognition could not have come at a better time. For
the first time in the series' four-year history, "Scrubs"
didn't make it on the fall schedule. Nevertheless, because the
show has a full-season order, its writers are already at work,
breaking stories.

"Scrubs" patiently waited out Emmy favorites "Frasier,"
"Friends" and "Sex and the City," which bowed out last season.
With another Emmy darling, HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," not
eligible this year, "Scrubs" finally got the recognition
critics have bestowed on it for years.

"Scrubs" creator/executive producer Bill Lawrence said he's
"bummed out" by statements that with so many heavyweights gone,
2005 is a weak year for comedy.

"What bothers me is that I consider the shows nominated
this year as good a quality as previous years," he said.

In professing his admiration for the other comedies
nominated in the top category, Lawrence didn't miss the chance
to take a jab at fellow nominee "Desperate Housewives," a
one-hour series produced by the same studio as "Scrubs,"
Disney's Touchstone TV.

"It's an honor to be nominated with those three other great
comedies ("Arrested Development," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and
"Will & Grace") and that drama-soap opera," he said. "I find
'The West Wing' to have more jokes in it."

In addition to the departure of the big Emmy staples,
Braff, who is in New York filming the feature "Fast Track,"
sees two other possible reasons for "Scrubs"' Emmy breakthrough
this year.

"I think maybe it's been enough years of people saying,
'Why isn't 'Scrubs' nominated?' and the first-season DVD came
out this year and gave a lot of people an opportunity to see
show's beginning."

According to Lawrence, the Academy tends to reward shows
that are struggling critical darlings or ratings juggernauts.

"Scrubs" was neither," he said. "We were never a great hit
but never in trouble for the Academy to embrace it."

"Scrubs"' status changed this past season when the comedy
slid in the ratings without "Frasier" or "Friends" as its

With the show not landing a slot on the fall schedule,
"Everybody here was a little bummed, so it's very cool because
(the nomination) gives us an opportunity to get excited about
coming back to work," Lawrence said.

Braff echoed his sentiment.

"I think hopefully the recognition will make NBC smile upon
the show a little more," he said.

"Scrubs" landed two other nominations, including, somewhat
surprisingly for a single-camera comedy, a nomination for best
multicamera picture editing for the show's hybrid
single-camera/multicamera episode, "My Life in Four Cameras."

It's hard to believe that Lawrence, a prolific TV writer
and creator of two successful series, "Scrubs" and ABC's "Spin
City," which he co-created with Gary David Goldberg, had never
been nominated for an Emmy before.

"It's shocking," Lawrence said, laughing, adding that at
age 36 he feels lucky to have that recognition come so early in
his career. "I think this is amazing that it happened so soon."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter