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NBC hints at ‘Scrubs’ demise

Promos being kept deliberately vague

NBC may be sending out a subtle message to viewers that “Scrubs” could soon be sent to the morgue — at least on the Peacock.

During Monday’s “Heroes,” the net aired a promo hyping “the final episodes” of “Scrubs.” A spot last week warned that there were “just four episodes left.”

While countdowns are common this time of year, nets usually make it clear that they’re talking about the number of segs left before a season finale. But the “Scrubs” promos make no mention of a finale, instead letting auds infer the show could be on its last legs.

NBC isn’t commenting, but insiders said the promos are being kept deliberately vague because the show’s fate is up in the air. Net doesn’t want to flatly state the skein is over, since there’s a shot it could be back.

Peacock execs have said they won’t make a decision on whether to renew “Scrubs” until after they’re done screening their pilots and deciding which shows to bring back.

Working in favor of “Scrubs”: Show has been a reliable ratings warhorse for the net, despite very little promotion and ever-shifting timeslots (this week’s episode begins at the head-scratching time of 9:19 p.m.).

Making the show a longshot for renewal is its very high pricetag. Series star Zach Braff also recently inked a megabucks deal with producer ABC Television Studio, making the cost even more prohibitive.

ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson, who helped develop “Scrubs,” has said he’d be interested in the show if NBC passes. The Braff deal, however, could make the show too expensive even for ABC, insiders said.

Whatever happens, don’t be surprised if a deal goes down to the wire.

NBC’s option to renew “Scrubs” doesn’t expire until the day after the Alphabet presents its fall sked on May 15. That means ABC might not be able to pick up the show until after its upfront presentation.

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