TV

'Scrubs' Says Good-bye -- But For Good?

Veteran comedy "Scrubs" (ABC, 8 p.m.) bids farewell to this season with a one-hour finale tonight that features appearances from about 50 of the show's memorable guest stars and recurring characters from past episodes.

Everyone from Michael Learned, as a kindly old lady who died, to Masi Oka, as a lab tech, will be back for what could be the series finale.

Or could it? ABC is mum on plans so far but word is the network is looking to bring the show back for another season. Creator Bill Lawrence is definitely parting ways with a new sitcom in the works for next year, but star Zach Braff, who initially was going to leave, is now open to appearing in a few episodes next season, a' la Noah Wyle on "ER."

It's ironic that a show that NBC tried so hard to kill from its lineup now can't seem to die on ABC, which is a more successful network. "Scrubs" has tried to keep the show fresh by introducing a number of new doctors, but that has been mostly off and on. Unlike my brother, I find the mean-spirited one to be the funniest of the lot.

"Scrubs" is a gold mine for ABC, which produces the show, and every episode it makes from adds to the money ABC collects from syndication fees and future DVD sales. With sitcoms becoming an endangered species, it makes sense for them to consider bringing it back. After all, ABC mostly sucks at developing sitcoms, and it beats bringing back "According To Jim" for another season.

Still, it'd be nice for "Scrubs" to die a dignified death (something that was a main theme for the show, ironically) and go before it seems too played out. The original cast had a magic together that can't really be substituted. It's not a show like "ER" or "Law & Order" that can constantly change over characters.

If it does come back, it will be interesting to see who from the cast returns. Sarah Chalke, for example, seems poised to switch to "How I Met Your Mother," based on that show's last episode, and it seems life if Braff departs, her character might as well.

Anyway, enjoy Lawrence's sendoff to the series tonight.

FRINGE RECAP: OK, maybe the funniest promotion for a movie EVER last night during "Fringe," when Olivia and Peter question a loony (Clint Howard) on a possible suspect. Howard, of course, appeared in episodes of the original "Star Trek" and "DS9" and lived in house number 1701 (the registry number of the USS Enterprise).

As Peter questioned him, Howard believed himself to be Spock and basically gave the entire premise of the new "Star Trek" movie (opening this weekend) as his conspiracy theory. Since "Fringe" is produced by "Trek" writers Alex Kurtzmann and Roberto Orci and "Trek" director JJ Abrams, it was a clever, wink-at-the-camera bit of self-promotion. I thought it was laugh-out-loud funny myself.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Following "Scrubs" are "Lost" and "The Unusuals" on ABC.

CBS has new episodes of "Old Christine," "Gary Unmarried," "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY."

NBC counters with episodes of three different versions of "Law & Order," but only the 10 p.m. episode of classic "L&O" is new.

"Rescue Me's" Daniel Sunjata guest stars on "Lie To Me" (Fox, 8 p.m.) Hopefully, he won't be giving people his version of what happened on 9/11. It will be followed by the "American Idol" results show at 9 p.m. as the finalists get paired down to three.

Finally, PBS has the special "World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West" at 9 p.m.

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