The King is alive... at least when a Miller family funeral is concerned.
At the Paley Festival panel for Fox's New Girl, moderated by TV Guide Magazine's Rob Moynihan on Monday, the cast and producers gave some scoop about the upcoming March 26 episode in which Nick (Jake Johnson) travels home to Chicago because of a death in the family. "Nick's father passes away," executive producer Brett Baer explained. "And then Elvis shows up?"
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Wait, what?! As usual with the Fox comedy, heart is balanced with a healthy dose of wackiness, and Zooey Deschanel, who stars as Nick's friend Jess, is doing the honors. "In a few weeks I play Elvis, which is kind of a dream come true," Deschanel said without giving details about how or why Jess will be impersonating The King.
Nick's other two loftmates Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lemorne Morris) have also traveled to the Windy City to support him and meet his mother, brother Jamie and cousin Bobby (Margo Martindale, Nick Kroll and Bill Burr). "[Nick is] the smartest of the bunch, the smartest of a dumb group of human beings," Johnson explained about his character.
We'll also meet Nick's Aunt Ruthie, played by Ellen Albertini Dow. "Do you remember the woman from The Wedding Singer? The older woman who did the hip-hop thing?" asked executive producer Jake Kasdan, who directed the episode. "She came and did a bit with us. She's 99 years old and hilarious."
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Check out more scoop about what's coming for New Girl this season:
Papa Day Returns! Rob Reiner, who played Jess' dad for the Thanksgiving episode, will return for Episode 24. "I didn't know that!" Deschanel told creator Liz Meriwether, who added, "There's a big Rob Reiner/Jake Johnson kiss actually."
A Schmidt by Any Other Name... The mystery of Schmidt's first name won't be addressed anytime soon, but the producers have been mulling it over. "We wrote it into an episode but cut it out," executive producer Dave Finkel admitted. "We have two [options] ... but we go back and forth," Baer added.
Old Asian Man Redux Tran (Ralph Ahn), the older Asian man who introduced angry Nick to the peacefulness of water massage therapy, will be back. Johnson said, "He comes back a little bit. I'm not in his arms this time."
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Revealing Flashbacks Ahead Meriwether revealed that the cast is currently shooting an episode entirely of flashbacks. "It's how all of them lost their virginities," she said. "[Schmidt] gets a little overzealous with some lube."
Emily Deferred Although there are no plans for a sister to visit Jess yet, Deschanel has already considered who might play her. Real-life sis Emily Deschanel, who stars in the fellow Fox series Bones, is a natural choice, but her schedule is so packed that even a tiny planned cameo earlier in the season fell through. Apparently, in the episode "Katie," in which Jess pretends to be a woman named Katie in order to intercept her blind date Sam (David Walton), Emily Deschanel was supposed to come on in the last scene as the stood-up Katie.
The entire New Girl panel at Paley is available on Hulu.
New Girl returns Tuesday, March 19 at 9/8c on Fox.