"Scrubs" Future No Longer in Question Says John C. McGinley
Mar 10, 2008
"Scrubs'" fate is no longer up in the air, reports John C. McGinley. "I've been told to show up at work on March 24, and the 18 episodes we're going to do starting that day will be on ABC next fall," says the actor known as the acerbic Dr. Cox on the show. "Scrubs" lead Zach Braff had expressed he definitely wanted out after what should have been the final season, but McGinley says the whole cast is aboard for one more go.
To recap, the "Scrubs" troupe was only able to finish 12 episodes of the 18 NBC had ordered for its final season before the writers' strike, and the network reportedly wouldn't commit to the last six episodes. "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence had declared he'd finish the show on DVD if necessary, but then ABC piped in with the invite to jump ship. Now the last six episodes in the can for NBC begin airing April 10.
"When they're done, there's no wrap-up, cliffhanger or anything," notes McGinley. "It's a show that will all of a sudden stop in the middle of its season on NBC, which is kind of a drag, but if we're switching to ABC, I don't really care. Steve McPherson, the guy who runs ABC, greenlit the thing when he was over at Touchstone, so it was his baby to begin with. I couldn't be more excited."
McGinley, who's over the moon about the new baby girl he just had Feb. 2 with wife Nichole Kessler, says, "I haven't talked to my cast mates because I've been a little busy over here, but I'm sure everybody's pretty thrilled. The fanatical fan base we have is the only reason we're still on. It's unbelievable. It's the show you can't kill, and I'm happy for it. I'd love to do it forever."
SOMETHING FUNNY GOING ON: The March 28 release "Superhero Movie" spoof -- with a cast of funny folk including Pamela Anderson, Craig Bierko, Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Nielsen and Christopher McDonald -- wrapped initial production in December, got tested, then reconvened for additional shooting "around the end of January," says McDonald. "We punched it up, added this and that. When it comes to spoofs, they know what they're doing. These are the people behind 'Scary Movie,' including David Zucker, who goes back to 'Airplane.'"
McDonald plays supervillain "The Hourglass" in the send-up. "He was a pharmaceutical kingpin when the experiment went wrong. Now he has the power to touch your body and suck out your life force so he can live another 24 hours. I get to say stupid lines like, 'I am The Hourglass. You are out of time!' Talking to (writer-producer-director) Craig Mazin, he said, 'Do you know how hard it is to write really crappy dialogue like that?'" laughs the actor. "I was honored to be handed the spoof challenge," adds the ever-busy actor, who has five other films also on the way that are more serious. He's especially happy about "Superhero" because, he says, "I think people are in the mood to laugh." Indeed.
RUNNING WATERS: Tony/Emmy/Golden Globe winning actor Jeffrey Wright reports he's plunged himself deeply into blues music in order to play the legendary Muddy Waters in the big-screen "Cadillac Records" he's starting this month with Adrien Brody, Beyonce and Mos Def.
"I'm listening to Muddy's music and Charlie Patton and Robert Johnson and Sunhouse and all those early cats," says Wright, who's already proven an uncanny chameleon-like ability to disappear into such roles as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the TV movie "Boycott" and the late graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in the big-screen "Basquiat." "I'm going to play what music my vocal cords will allow me to play," says Wright, adding "the musical director is a big brother named Steve Jordan, and it was knowing that he was overseeing the music that really attracted me to the project because I know it's going to be authentic and I know it's going to be good. From what I understand, there are going to be some heavy cats putting this music down, so I'll do what I can do."
Wright, who's going directly from shooting the next James Bond saga, "Quantum Solace," to the Waters project, says he's been a huge blues fan all his life. Though born in Washington, D.C, he says, "I spent almost half my life in the south, growing up in Southern Virginia surrounded by the blues expressed through language, really. The music of southern language always excited me, and for me, blues is an extension of that aesthetically -- an extension of people's words, intonations and invocations … of southern folk, my family, you know what I mean? The roots."
The actor, who has two young daughters with actress Carmen Ejogo, adds he's passing on those roots. "I'm turning my 6-year-old and 2-year-old into Muddy Waters fans, which is kind of the point, you know."
THERE WILL BE BLOOD: James Remar, who plays Dexter Morgan's adoptive father on "Dexter," says he's unsure as to whether he'll be asked back to appear on future episodes of the Showtime series. "It seems as if Dexter was distancing himself from Harry, but they haven't let me know. Besides, that is so out of my hands. But I would love to shoot more episodes of 'Dexter.'" Regardless of his fate, Remar stresses that he's proud of being a part of it so far. "'Dexter' breaks new ground. It's a very cohesive set. I've worked with really good actors on that show, especially Michael C. Hall. … It's a guilty pleasure," he adds. "For me, it's opened my mind up to some stuff -- the way we perceive who is the good guy and who is the bad guy, and people doing terrible things to each other -- when it's all right and when it isn't."
With reports by Stephanie DuBois and Emily Feimster.
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