<EM>Scrubs</EM> Scrubs

Instead of sitting around sulking about this year's long list of egregious Emmy snubsLauren 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?
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?
You know what? We're just sitting around having more fun working and coming up with stories for the show.

TVGuide.com: Have you started work on the new season yet?
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?
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?
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?
[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?
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!
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?
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?
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?
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?
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!
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.