Scrubs Goes Under the Knife, Gets a Makeover

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TV shows on the brink of cancellation could take a bit of schooling from the series Scrubs. The cult comedy show has been through its share of drama in the last few years -- facing cancellation, searching for a new network home, and coming back from the brink of sure death to make a few more seasons. The saga continues this fall when Scrubs will go through a complete makeover.

The show will take place at medical school and focus around Doctor Turk, with only occasional appearances from John "JD" Dorian and Elliot Reid. JD and Turk's relationship is the heart of Scrubs and without it, the show will be left for dead. Die-hard fans might have some concerns.

Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence confirmed that the show will take place in medical school instead of Sacred Heart Hospital, according to TV Squad. Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke, who play John "JD" Dorian and Elliot Reid respectively, have signed a contract for only six episodes. This upcoming season, the show will focus on Doctor Turk who will be going back to the classroom (to teach!). Viewers won't completely lose touch with Sacred Heart Hospital, but, according to Lawrence, "It's going to be a different show."

A desperate attempt to stay afloat this is not. Changing the cast and setting of the show is likely to lose Scrubs its devoted fan base. So why shake up the tried-and-true formula? For just that reason. The show has followed a formula over the last eight seasons, staying true to its original flavor of comedy, but failing to recognize its audience's changing desires. Doctor Turk's decision to go back to school is (dare I say it?) realistic. Kudos to the writers for stepping out on a very precarious limb to try something new.

Scrubs is trying to pull a Cheers without admitting that they are writing a spin-off. When Cheers ended after 11 seasons, Frasier Crane moved on to his own act in the hit-show Frasier, which also aired for 11 seasons. But it takes a layered and unexplored character to make the jump from co-star to soloist so effortlessly. And it is hard not to wonder whether Doctor Turk will pull off the transformation.

The central cast has stayed tight-knit and the writers developed the characters from "newbie" residents into burgeoning heroes of medicine. Viewers have watched JD and Turk grow up during their time at Sacred Heart Hospital and grown to love each character equally. The two doctors are lost without each other. Without Turk, JD might easily spin off the deep-end. And a show without JD may lack the zest needed to keep Scrubs alive and kicking.

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