New Girl, at long last, is all grown up.
On Thursday, stars Zooey Deschanel, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone, Max Greenfield, creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether and executive producers Brett Baer, Dave Finkel, Erin O'Malley and Katherine Pope took the stage at Fox's Television Critics Association winter press tour to preview the comedy's upcoming seventh and final season (Jake Johnson was "claiming to be sick," according to Meriwether). The final season will find the kids we met back in 2011 full-grown adults, with jobs and children and responsibilities who deal with grown-up stuff. There's even a death.
Season 7 will pick up with a three-year time jump, which will be how the show gets around the sense of finality that Season 6 ended with; it will find the characters at new places in their lives. Schmidt and Cece are parents (Cece is a modeling agent and Schmidt is a stay-at-home dad); Winston is engaged to Aly (Nasim Pedrad); and Nick and Jess are struggling with whether or not to get married.
Season 7 was very touch-and-go for awhile, but Meriwether successfully made her case to the network to let New Girl wrap things up the way she wanted.
"I'm so passionate about this show; it's been my life for seven years," Meriwether said. "I do feel really good about the end of Season 6, but I really wanted the chance to say goodbye to the show with a final season."
"The whole show was built on this idea of characters that were broken and we needed to see if at the end of this story they're going to fix each other," said Brett Baer. "And so we wanted to do this final episode where we really put those pieces in place where we could see the future. Are they going to be okay? Is it going to work out? And I think we can say yes."
Dave Finkel said that they were thinking of the show's loyal fans when they pitched the final season. "We wanted to be able to end the story for them in a way that showed that full completion, shows all these characters growing up," he said. "It was a way to put that final bow on it."
Oh, and Winston's cat Ferguson? They can't say where he'll be in three years. There's going to be a Winston-centric episode and they don't want to spoil it. (They actually spoiled it in the room, but we'll protect you from that.)
New Girl Season 7 premieres Tuesday, April 10 at 9:30/8:30c and ends with a special one-hour series finale Tuesday, May 15 at 9/8c.