New Girl lives on. After it had been widely tipped for a (likely abbreviated) seventh season, it was touch and go for Fox’s longest running live-action comedy series in the past few days. In the end, about 24 hours before the network is to present its 2017-18 schedule to advertisers, New Girl has been renewed for a seventh and final season. No episode count has been revealed, but it is believed to be 8, which was confirmed by star Jake Johnson.
It would’ve worked either way as the recent Season 6 finale tied up things in a nice bow, with Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) rekindling their romance, Cece (Hannah Simone) and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) expecting, and Winston (Lamorne Morris) calling his father with Aly’s (Nasim Pedrad) help.
Still New Girl is a legacy series for Fox and, like Bones this season, will be getting a proper sendoff with a final run.
New Girl was a game-changer for Fox when it debuted to big ratings in September 2011, the first bona fide comedy hit on the network in a long time. After a red-hot early run, the series, starring indie darling Deschanel, was benched for baseball and never quite recaptured the ratings magic of its first few weeks, but remained Fox’s highest rated live-action comedy for its entire run. It most recently averaged a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating (Live+7) for its sixth season.
The comedy series also did something rarely seen. It had cast Damon Wayans Jr. as one of the leads in the pilot in second position to ABC’s Happy Endings, which was expected to be canceled. However, ABC ended up renewing the softly-rated comedy, making Wayans unavailable. Instead of recasting him and reshooting the pilot, Fox left the pilot, which had tested and screened very well, intact with Wayans in it, and introduced a new lead character in Episode 2 played by Morris. Wayans ended up reprising his role after the end of Happy Endings, even spending a season as a regular on the Fox comedy.