'Scrubs' 'moves closer to a pickup
ABC is mulling big changes on “Samantha Who,” including the possibility of turning the show into a more traditional multi-camera laffer.Meanwhile, as expected, the ninth season renewal of “Scrubs” appears to now be a lock, with star Zach Braff officially signed on to appear in at least six episodes next year. According to insiders, the Alphabet net and sister ABC Studios are considering shooting “Samantha” much like 20th Century Fox TV produces “How I Met Your Mother” for CBS. In the case of “Mother,” the show is shot on a soundstage with multiple cameras, but over the course of four days and sans a studio audience. That way, “Mother” can still employ some of the tricks of a single-camera comedy – but on a multi-camera budget. By shifting to multi-camera, and making other changes, ABC is hoping to shave as much as $500,000 off the “Samantha Who” budget. Other sources said ABC had been tossing around the same idea for “Scrubs,” which is expected to also return next season – potentially in a different form. “Samantha Who” performed decently for ABC on Monday nights, particularly when it was sandwiched between reality hits “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Bachelor.” But the show saw its audience diminish greatly once it moved to Thursdays this midseason. ABC still has seven episodes in the can for “Samantha,” which means the net also wouldn’t have to pick up a full 22 episodes for next season. Show was yanked two weeks earlier than expected this spring. “Samantha Who” stars Christina Applegate as a woman whose outlook on life changes after she develops amnesia. Jennifer Esposito, Kevin Dunn, Melissa McCarthy, Tim Russ, Barry Watson and Jean Smart star. Show, which recently finished its second season, was created by Cecelia Ahern and Donald Todd; Todd and Peter Traugott are exec producers. As for “Scrubs,” momentum had grown in recent weeks to bring back the show back in a reworked fashion. Besides Braff, Sarah Chalke is on board for six segs. Other stars are locked into pilots, but could return if their shows aren’t ordered — including Donald Faison, John C. McGinley and Neil Flynn. Creator Bill Lawrence is said to be kicking around various ideas to evolve the show — such as following one of the characters as they move to a different hospital or medical school. “Scrubs” aired its season finale last week — but the episode’s look and feel was that of a series ending its run. The episode even ended with shots of the “Scrubs” cast and crew hugging behind the camera after they performed their final scenes.