Television has been a cold, fickle wasteland since Scrubs was canceled (for the second time) in 2010. But according to series creator Bill Lawrence, the hospital rom-com is being revived – in the form of a Broadway musical. Lawrence confirmed the project, which he originally announced in a 2012 tweet, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“One of the things we really cared about on the show was that we always incorporated not only pop music, but a lot of singing and songwriting, ranging from an a cappella group to a full-blown musical episode,” Lawrence says, noting that the original spark for the Broadway adaptation came from the series’ massive popularity in the U.K.
The musical is currently in its infancy, built on an outline that marks specific spots for songs and Greek choruses along with the series’ trademark fantasy sequences. The producers are currently in talks with various theater groups in hopes of gaining money for composers to develop “spec songs,” and Lawrence cites Disney as a “silent partner” in this process.
“When that outline goes out to composers, they’ll know the tone because they’ve seen the show and some of the musical stuff we’ve done,” he continues. “If I did Scrubs, I would do it as the Legally Blonde or Wicked model. It’s all the same characters. The outline is kind of a mishmash of the pilot episode mushed together with the episode where Mrs. Landingham from The West Wing dies. We’re combining two of our best stories with what we’re allowed to cull and choose from our best comedic moments and fantasies from nine years of the show.”
Musically, Lawrence and his team of “musical geeks” are also trying to reign in on the overall sound of the production. “We’re looking at everything from the singer-songwriter hip version that you can say they did with Spring Awakening to the type of sardonic Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson-type stuff,” he says.
Sounds pretty mind-blowing, but don’t go shouting “Eagle!” just yet: Though the show will feature creative input from series lead Zach Braff, the actor won’t reprise his role as neurotic doctor J.D. On the other hand, Lawrence says they might make room for Ted’s a capella band, the Worthless Peons. (Which they most definitely should.)
Lawrence didn’t offer any additional info on the timeline, though the EW piece does mention (perhaps jokingly) a loose premiere date of “2017 or so.”