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Scott D. Pierce: 'Scrubs' end is near

Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke
Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke
Chris Haston, Nbc

As "Scrubs" begins its seventh and final season, the relationship between J.D. (Zach Braff) and Elliot (Sarah Chalke) is once again up in the air.

There's a resolution of sorts in tonight's season premiere (8:30 p.m., Ch. 5), although to call it a resolution at all is, perhaps, overstating things. And, in a conference call with TV critics, "Scrubs" creator/executive producer Bill Lawrence vowed that resolving the relationship will not be the focus of the series finale.

"Zach always says there's no way you can satisfy everybody, because if you go on to our fan sites, there's a lot of people that want them together and then there's a lot of people that ... don't want them together," Lawrence said. "This show was never a will-they-or-won't-they show, you now? It was not Ross and Rachel (on "Friends") or 'Moonlighting."'

Lawrence said that if this show ended with J.D. at the airport to keep Elliot from flying away, "everybody would feel cheated."

But he did promise he won't leave viewers hanging about J.D. and Elliot when "Scrubs" signs off. "I am going to resolve it, but I'm not going to make that the end of the series. I think that it'll happen before people expect it to happen," Lawrence said. "I think I put a lot of clues about what I'm going to do along the way. And I think that I've found a way through it that people will be satisfied. Zach always says you can't make everybody happy, but ... "

"You're going to," Braff interjected.

"That's my psychological weakness," Lawrence agreed. "I'm going to."

THE FINAL SEASON of "Scrubs" will do a couple of things for the Janitor that have never been done before. "I always promised Neil Flynn, the guy that plays the Janitor, two things — that by the end of the show, he'd have a name, and he'd eventually get to have a girlfriend," Lawrence said. "So I had to make good on both of those this year."

In tonight's episode — the series' 140th — the Janitor still doesn't have a name, but he does get a girlfriend. And, contrary to the belief of some "obsessive fans," the Janitor does not already have a name.

"There's a small contingent that insists his name is Neil Flynn because of the (fantasy sequence in an) episode that we did when he was in the movie 'The Fugitive,"' Lawrence said. "And they say, 'Well in the credits of "The Fugitive," it says that that cop is played by Neil Flynn. So the Janitor's name has to be Neil Flynn."'

"We haven't figured our way out of that one. But we will."

SPEAKING OF fantasy sequences, an upcoming episode features an extend "homage to 'The Princess Bride,"' with J.D. as the village idiot, Elliot as the princess, the Janitor as the giant and Todd (Robert Maschio) as "Fairy Todd Something."


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com