Instead of sitting around sulking about this year's long list of egregious Emmy snubs — Lauren Graham, Denis Leary, Lauren Graham, Gregory Smith, Lauren Graham, Kristen Bell, Lauren Graham, Matthew Fox, Lauren Graham, Lauren Graham and Lauren Graham, to name just a few — I decided to accentuate the positive in Thursday's nominations. Specifically, the four-years-in-the-making best-comedy nod for TV's smartest, most side-splitting comedy, Scrubs. After taking part in a few rounds of high fives, six champagne toasts and two games of Twister, I phoned series creator Bill Lawrence to offer my hearty congratulations and grill him about the new season.TVGuide.com: How do you feel?
Bill Lawrence: I'm very grateful. It means more than you could imagine to the cast and writers and crew, 'cause it was tough to come back to a fifth year of this show when it didn't even have enough support from NBC to be on the fall lineup. This was kind of validation. It made it a lot easier to be at work.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think it finally happened this year?
Lawrence: Two things. The Emmys are like a fraternity. And once you're in, unless you have a real crappy season, it's hard to get drummed out when you're a high-quality show. And a lot of high-quality shows moved on. I always felt like we were right on the fringe of breaking in there. The other thing that helped us, to tell you the truth, is that Scrubs was neither a giant ratings juggernaut nor was it one of those shows like Arrested Development that we all loved but felt needed to be embraced by the Emmys to keep surviving. And I think now that we're finally truly getting treated like crap and pulled from the schedule and stuff, people are feeling on some level that it's underappreciated. I think the community rallied for us a little bit, and that made us all happy here.
TVGuide.com: Are you going to do anything to celebrate today?
Lawrence: You know what? We're just sitting around having more fun working and coming up with stories for the show.
Lawrence: We haven't started shooting yet. We start on Aug. 29 when Zach [Braff]'s finished with his movie. TVGuide.com: So, was there some truth to NBC's contention that it was Zach's summer movie schedule that forced them to delay Scrubs' premiere?
Lawrence: No. They let him do the movie after they decided it wasn't [going to be] on in the fall. TVGuide.com: Interesting... Has NBC given you any indication when the show will return?
Lawrence: I would imagine as soon as [one of their new shows] craters. Just like in the past, [Scrubs] will come in and be a Band-Aid somewhere. TVGuide.com: Has anyone at NBC called you today?
Lawrence: [NBC head] Jeff Zucker called me and was really gracious and nice and said it's been a long time coming. He was very cool. TVGuide.com: Did you give him a hard time about keeping Scrubs off the schedule?
Lawrence: I don't ultimately think it was his decision. [NBC Entertainment President] Kevin Reilly's running that network; I think that was his call. TVGuide.com: Now that you're in such a good mood, what can you tell me about the new season. I want scoop!
Lawrence: We don't have a ton yet because we've taken the attitude this year that we aren't really gonna do a lot of stunt casting. That is something NBC always pushes you to do, and you do it because you worry about being pulled during sweeps or not [being] promoted if you don't do it. But that's going to happen to us anyway, so we're just going to do whatever the hell we want to do. TVGuide.com: So no stunt casting at all?
Lawrence: The one thing I can tell you is I think we got Mandy Moore on the show. Zach is friends with her, so he got her to come on the show for fun. TVGuide.com: Is it just one episode?
Lawrence: You gotta talk to her, man. I'm hoping that I can get her to do a couple more. TVGuide.com: But the one episode is definite?
Lawrence: She said she'd do it, but nothing's ever definite in acting until someone signs on the dotted line. TVGuide.com: Will she play Zach's girlfriend?
Lawrence: I don't know. She's such a talented young lady, she can play whatever the hell she wants to. TVGuide.com: Cool. Well, thanks for the scoop, and congrats again!
Lawrence: Thanks, Mike. And thanks for all your support. I really appreciate it. To read Matt Roush's reaction to the nominations (hint: He's not happy about the Lauren Graham snub, either) click here.