Tuned In: 'Scrubs' sings love song to Broadway

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PASADENA, Calif. -- Kick up your heels or sneer in derision. Those are pretty much the polar opposite reactions viewers will have to the "Scrubs" musical episode, airing at 9 p.m. tomorrow on NBC. Fans of the hospital-set comedy and musical theater aficionados will be part of the first camp; others may fall into the latter.

McMurray's Stephanie D'Abruzzo (on gurney) stars as Patti Miller in "Scrubs" tomorrow night on NBC.
Click photo for larger image.

To be sure, this "Scrubs" musical is a loving ode to familiar Broadway stylings, much in the same way the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" musical episode was clearly a labor of love made by people with a genuine affection for stage musicals.

In the "Scrubs" story, guest star Stephanie D'Abruzzo ("Avenue Q"), who grew up in McMurray, is hospitalized at Sacred Heart after she hears everyone she encounters singing. This leads to several production numbers, including an elaborate, gurney twirling "Welcome to Sacred Heart," and the sophomoric "Everything Comes Down to Poo," already playing on YouTube.com.

Intertwined with guest star D'Abruzzo's story are smaller stories among the cast, including whether Carla (Judy Reyes) will return to work rather than staying home with her newborn and husband Turk's (Donald Faison) reaction to that decision.

But the real fun of the episode, written by Debra Fordham, comes during the musical numbers. "When the Truth Comes Out" has an almost militant sound reminiscent of a tune from "Les Miserables," while the finale, "Friends Forever/What's Going to Happen," is straight out of "Grease."

Illustration by Tony Tye
and Curt Chandler, Post-Gazette
Click for larger image.
More TV, More OWEN

2007 Press Tour Journal

The "Scrubs" musical episode is not merely a stunt done to garner attention; it advances the show's ongoing plots, showcases just about all the supporting characters and evinces true enthusiasm for the musical genre. And, in no small measure of its success, it's also a heck of a lot of fun.

'Naked Trucker' = pale comedy

It's not altogether clear what to make of Comedy Central's latest original series, a throwback to studio audience shows like "The Smothers Brothers" with a few taped pieces thrown in. Occasionally amusing, "Naked Trucker" (10:30 tonight) is mostly just odd.

Dave "Gruber" Allen portrays the Naked Trucker, a straight man to wilder, goofier T-Bones (David Koechner). They tell stories, sing songs and pick up hitchhikers in their taped pieces that take place on the road in the rig of an 18-wheeler.

No doubt there's a cult audience for a show that's such a strange amalgam -- is it mocking hickish oddballs or praising them, or a little bit of both? -- but it hardly seems to be the stuff a mainstream cable hit is made of.

'Kyle XY' returns

ABC Family Channel's "Kyle XY," about a belly button-less boy and his adoptive family, begins production next month for a new season to air in the summer.

At the end of the first season, it appeared that Kyle, who has some super-human powers (both physical and cognitive), is a clone. Star Matt Dallas, who plays Kyle, was mum on that, but he did spill some beans on the new season at ABC's press tour party Saturday night.

"I can't tell you exactly what he is, but what I can tell you is they're going to answer a lot of those questions in the first episode," Dallas said. "They want to try to kind of get that out of the way and move on so we can explore Kyle."

Dallas said the second season is about the development of a superhero (hmmm, wonder how much the success of "Heroes" has to do with that ...) and about Kyle homing in on his skills and what he's capable of doing. It will also bring Kyle's family into the mystery story more.

"Last year we had two separate story lines as far as the family and the mystery," Dallas acknowledged. "This year we'll literally bring the mystery and danger through the front door of the Trager house. We'll tie everything together and involve the family in the main story."

Heroes on 'Smallville'

That "Heroes" glow extends to "Smallville," which was already about a superhero, the future Superman, but even more heroes come to play with Clark Kent (Tom Welling) in tomorrow's 8 p.m. episode on WPCW.

Aquaman (Alan Ritchson), Cyborg (Lee Thompson Young) and Bart "The Flash" Allan (Kyle Gallner) join Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) and Clark in taking down a secret experiment in a LutherCorp facility. Afterward, they lay the groundwork for the formation of the Justice League.

Channel surfing

As expected, Amber Brkich Mariano and husband Rob will be part of CBS's "The Amazing Race: All-Stars" when it kicks off Feb. 18. A full list of participants can be found in Tuned In Journal . ... TMZcom, the celebrity gossip Web site owned by AOL that first broke news of Mel Gibson's DUI arrest and anti-Semitic tirade, will become a daily TV show (a la "Entertainment Tonight") in the fall. ... Fox has decided to release the first four episodes of the new season of "24" on DVD for $14.98. The set was in stores yesterday and includes a sneak peak at next Monday's episode. ... Jennifer Aniston will guest star on friend Courteney Cox's "Dirt" in the March 27 season finale as a rival magazine editor to Cox's tabloid queen.

Post-Gazette TV editor Rob Owen is attending the Television Critics Association winter press tour. You can reach him at 412-263-2582 or rowen@post-gazette.com .


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