Monty Brinton, CBS
Stella (Sarah Chalke) and Ted (Josh Radnor)

"Scrubs" star Sarah Chalke will return to "How I Met Your Mother" for "multiple episodes" at the "beginning of the season," according to CBS's top programmer.

Which is fantastic news.

But, according to CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, "Right now, I don't think she's the mother."


Chalke has been a fantastic addition to the show as Ted's (Josh Radnor) new girlfriend, Stella. And there seemed to be clues that Stella would indeed be the as-yet unnamed wife and "Mother" of Ted's future children.

"I have no idea what's going to happen with that," Chalke said. "I had a great time doing it."

Certainly, the fact that "Scrubs" — which moves from NBC to ABC this season — will complete its episodes by the end of the summer will make it easier for Chalke to show up on that other show.

"They don't want me to say it, but she's the mom," said "Scrubs" creator/executive producer Bill Lawrence. "Write it. Heard it here first."

Chalke could end up on "How I Met Your Mother" on a more permanent basis. Or she could end up on the possible "Scrubs" spinoff that might debut in 2010 after Zach Braff (who plays J.D.) exits the series.

Braff said he's open to occasionally returning to whatever "Scrubs" becomes if it continues.

"I suppose I should have come up with better answers for this before I got on a panel in front of all you guys," he said. "Bill (Lawrence) and I haven't even really talked about it too much.

"The sense is that we thought we were ending, and then thanks to (ABC), this has been a bonus, amazing year. We're having a blast doing this. My sense is this is my last year. If the show does continue like ... an 'ER' kind of thing, I would love to come back and visit and definitely direct some and do craft service if they need some help."

When (if?) "Scrubs" ever ends, we will finally find out what the janitor's (Neil Flynn) name is?

"I can tell you my name right now. It's Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate," Flynn said. "There. End of mystery."

Lawrence, however, disagreed. "When you hear the janitor's name, it means the show is over. That's just the thing I've always told all these guys," Lawrence said. "And so when it's out there, it means we're done."

"Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate," Flynn insisted.

Neil flynn doesn't see Turk (Donald Faison) continuing without J.D.

"I think it was if Zach goes, Donald's got to go," Flynn deadpanned.

"Neil Flynn wants the spinoff to be a show with him and an attorney called 'Legal Custodians,"' Lawrence said. "They adopt a kid, hence 'Legal Custodians."'

"Scrubs" has always been sort of successful, but it's never been a big hit.

"This is it, by the way," Lawrence said. "You mark my words. This is the year 'Scrubs' is a huge hit. Year 8."

"Lucky number 8," Braff added.

Lawrence said he's "very conflicted talking about NBC." On the one hand, he's grateful for the seven years the show spent on that network.

"If somebody had offered me that seven years ago, I probably would have taken it," he said. "On the other hand ... if you're on a show for six or seven years and you make somebody millions of millions of dollars, I personally believe that you should get to end the show."

Obviously, the writers' strike interfered with any plans to end the show in the way he'd hoped last year on NBC. He even offered to do fewer than the eight additional episodes "Scrubs" was contracted to produce for NBC, telling that network, "I can wrap it up in three. You guys will make money off it. We can do it quick.

"And there wasn't a lot of interest, so that was a bummer."

He said he understands "now because I'm less emotional" that it was a business decision. "And ... if I had the chance to do that phone call over again knowing that we would be on ABC this year, I would have said, 'Thank you."'

The fairy tale episode that was the last "Scrubs" to air on NBC was "never meant to be" the series finale, Braff said.

"Because it was sort of a spectacle, (NBC) decided to market it as a finale," he said. "So everyone was sort of mad at it. The fans were sort of (ticked) off, like, 'That's the finale? What the (heck) does that have to do with anything?'

"I was a little bummed out. If it was just a cool out-of-the-box sort of concept show within the season, I think it would have been received a little better than it was."

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