Damon Wayans Jr. already has emerged as one of the most sought after leading comedy men for a second straight season with multiple offers, including the Rush Hour series remake. He is yet to say yes, which means there will be a ton of other pilots sent his way over the next couple of weeks. (Last year, he also was offered a number of pilots but passed on them all.)
How much in demand is Wayans Jr.? Asked last spring what the hardest type was to cast, Fox’s head of casting Tess Sanchez said, “Damon Wayans Jr……x3. He has now become his own type.”
Wayans Jr. has been free and clear to take pilot inquiries as his commitment as a regular on Fox’s New Girl was only for one season and is up in May. The actor has now ruled out a return to the quirky comedy as a regular next season, if it gets renewed for Season 5 as expected. TVLine had the news of Wayans Jr’s decision.
Wayans Jr. of course starred in the pilot for New Girl in second position to his series Happy Endings, and had to leave when his ABC show was surprisingly renewed. But he was not recast, with the show introducing a new character played by Lamorne Morris instead. After the end of Happy Endings, Wayans returned as a recurring guest star on New Girl last season and, after declining to do a pilot, signed a one-year series regular deal for the series’ current fourth season.
“We love Damon and are so lucky to have had him return for the past season-and-a-half,” New Girl creator Liz Meriwether said. “We are working on crafting an exit for him that will leave the door open for many more returns.”