It's been a pretty busy year for New Girl star Zooey Deschanel. Not only has she been involved with the production of feature films Rock the Kasbah and The Driftless Area on top of her New Girl responsibilities, she also married fiancee Jacob Pechenik and gave birth to their baby daughter back in July.
It's no surprise then that she's taking some time off and we've known for a while now that instead of writing her pregnancy into the New Girl plot and working around that narrative, the producers are replacing her for a limited time.
Reagan Is In...
When it was announced last month that Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star Megan Fox would be replacing Deschanel as the lovable Jessica "Jess" Day on the show it was met with quite the public backlash, with fans threatening even to boycott the show as a result of her casting.
In the context of the show's narrative, when Jess goes away for jury dury Fox's character Reagan, described a "straight-shooting pharmaceutical sales rep", will rent her room in the loft and move in with the boys; Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Nick (Jake Johnston) and Winston (Lamorne Morris).
Because New Girl pretty much rotates around Jess' narrative I kinda understand why some fans reacted this way, replacing any main character in any show even for a short period of time is always going to be tricky for the shows producers.
However, given the way the show has previously handled character portrayals, particularly those of Jess and Cece (Hannah Simone), I do have faith that the writers and producers will be able to present us with a nuanced character who fits into the show.
Despite the fact that we don't know too much about the role it was written with Fox specifically in mind, so that's something. We'll just have to wait and see how she fits in when she's introduced in New Girl Season 5.
And Coach Is Out (Again)
Sadly when New Girl Season 5 rolls around again Coach will be making yet another exit from the show as Damon Wayans Jr. ops out of contract renewals.
"Meriwether: We love Damon and are so lucky to have had him return for the past season-and-a-half. We are working on crafting an exit for him that will leave the door open for many returns, especially since Coach is our resolution to the upcoming ‘Who’s Jess’ Baby Daddy?’ storyline."
Though the comment about Jess' baby daddy is just a joke, New Girl executive producer Liz Meriwether hints that we may see Coach again further down the line should Wayans like to return.
Despite the fact that Wayan's appeared in the original pilot episode and was part of the original line-up, he had to drop out of Season 1 due to prior commitments with Happy Endings. When Happy Endings was cancelled in 2013 he was able to returned to New Girl during Season 3, and became a regular in Season 4.
Though there was initially a bit of friction between Coach and Jess he quickly became accepted back into the madcap group, and his loss will certainly be felt again. How exactly he'll be leaving though is something we'll have to wait and see when Season 5 finally rolls around next year.
New Girl Season 5 currently doesn't have a specific release date, but it is expected sometime in 2016.