NBC, ABC Tussle Over 'Scrubs'

TelevisionEntertainmentABCDVDs and MoviesScrubs (tv program)Health

ABC is reportedly interested in picking up "Scrubs" for next season -- which is news to NBC, the network that currently airs the hospital comedy.

The showbiz trade papers say that ABC Studios, which produces the series, is in talks with its sister network to produce an 18-episode season of "Scrubs" for 2008-09. Here's the rub, though: NBC says it's still in a period of exclusive negotiations with the studio about the show's fate.

ABC Studios isn't commenting on the story, which The Hollywood Reporter broke late Thursday. Meanwhile, NBC co-chairman Marc Graboff tells Variety that "We're living under the terms of this license agreement, and we expect ABC Studios to do the same."

"Scrubs" completed 12 episodes of what was to be its final season before the writers' strike. Seven have already aired, and the remaining five are set to run starting Thursday, April 10.

That leaves six episodes on the show's order for this season. NBC and ABC Studios have been discussing whether to air all six episodes or put some on TV and some in the season seven DVD package.

If the series does end up migrating to ABC, it's understood that star Zach Braff and the rest of the cast would stick with the show. Braff signed a deal with ABC Studios last year that made him one of the best-paid actors on television.

"Scrubs"-to-ABC rumors are nothing new. ABC Entertainment chief Stephen McPherson helped develop the show when he ran ABC Studios (then known as Touchstone TV), and in the past couple of years it's been widely reported that ABC would pick up the series if NBC didn't. In every case, though, NBC has made a late decision to keep the series on its schedule.

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