EXCLUSIVE: There is a major behind-the-scenes shakeup on NBC‘s new comedy series Bad Judge. I’ve learned that Nurse Jackie co-creator Liz Brixius, who joined the series in May as showrunner, has exited  because of creative differences over the direction of the single-camera comedy. Brixius is expected to return to development under her overall deal with Bad Judge producer Universal TV. She previously created the pilot Girlfriend In a Coma for the studio.

I hear Betsy Thomas, who ran NBC/Uni TV’s Whitney in its first season, has been approached about succeeding Brixius at the helm of Bad Judge. The series, from Uni TV and studio-based Gary Sanchez Prods, has filmed four episodes of its 13-episode order. Created by by Chad Kultgen, Bad Judge stars Kate Walsh as wild child Rebecca Wright who knows how to have a good time, but she also happens to be one of L.A.’s toughest and most respected criminal court judges. Kultgen, Walsh, Anne Heche, Jill Sobel Messick, Kevin Messick, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay executive produce the series, which recast Rebecca’s love interest after the pilot with Ryan Hansen. Bad Judge is one of the higher-profile new NBC comedies and was scheduled as part of the network’s new hourlong Thursday comedy block. It is slated to premiere on Oct. 2. The showrunner change is not expected to impact its planned launch.