One of NBC's biggest screwups in a year full of screwups was letting "Scrubs" leave the network and go to ABC.
The venerable sitcom makes its debut tonight with two consecutive episodes (ABC, 9 p.m.), both of which will be repeated Wednesday — meaning ABC is already giving the series more coverage than it ever got on NBC.
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I'm not sure why NBC treated the show so shabbily when it had it. Sure, "Scrubs" was never a ratings grabber, but it has a loyal audience and a lot of critical acclaim. Certainly few sitcoms on TV are as original.
Tonight sees the introduction of Courtney Cox as Dr. Kelso's replacement as head of the hospital. Not to spoil things too much, but she dismisses one of the original characters. We're also introduced to a new class of interns, each with his or her own quirks. (My favorite? The one J.D. calls "Blair." You'll see why.)
The two episodes both provide a contrast to each other and show why the series has been so good over the years. The first episode is played for laughs, while the second one is mostly a bittersweet tale about J.D. and Turk sitting with an older patient who is on his last legs.
Few sitcoms over the years provides as much heart as "Scrubs" does. Welcome back.
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: "Scrubs" isn't the only show returning tonight. "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 10 p.m.), definitely an acquired taste, returns tonight in the wake of a stabbing during last season's finale.
"Scrub" is bookended by two new reality shows. The first, "Homeland Security USA" (ABC, 8 p.m.) details what goes on at our various border checkpoints. The second, "What Would You Do?" (ABC, 10 p.m.), puts people in artificial moral situations and sees how they react on hidden camera. I'm not a real fan of these type series, which put people in uncomfortable situations without their knowledge just to see what their reaction will be.
CBS returns with a full lineup, including new episodes of "NCIS," "The Mentalist" and "Without A Trace."
NBC begins a new couples edition of "The Biggest Loser" (NBC, 8 p.m.), followed by a new "Law & Order" at 10 p.m.
Finally, the enjoyable "Leverage" (TNT, 10 p.m.) airs a brand-new episode.