March 12, 2013

THE SKED @ PALEYFEST2013: “New Girl”

The PaleyFest panel for FOX’s NEW GIRL was as goofy and likable as the show itself, as Jake Johnson (Nick) was talked into not just performing the show’s theme song–after Zoey Deschanel (Jess) demurred–but Nick’s woeful moonwalk as well (Johnson took credit for the flipper-like hand gestures that went with it), Max Greenfield (Schmidt) reveled in “killing it” with his thoughtful answers to moderator questions, and Lamorne Morris (Winston) flirted with an admirer in the crowd. 

New Girl, the biggest (OK, only) non-animated comedy hit on FOX, didn’t have to sweat the Season 3 renewal that came last week, and the cast and writer/producers were fairly generous with goodies for the fans, starting with a screening of the March 19 episode, which no Jess/Nick shipper will want to miss.  That relationship, of course, was Topic A of the evening, and series creator Liz Meriwether (who may never have been more Jess-like in a public appearance than she was tonight) seemed to be telling the plain truth when she said that the writers themselves are feeling out the storyline episode by episode, sometimes shooting beats and sequences that are left out in the editing, sometimes adding lines while an episode is already in production, whenever things seem to be moving too far in one direction or another.  The one point that seems clear is that the story is moving forward, not dropped and held for future seasons.  The writers were a little more coy about the show’s other continuing story arc, the on-again-off-again Cece (Hannah Simone)/Schmidt romance, currently derailed by Cece’s engagement to another, although they noted that where there’s an engagement, a wedding should be expected.

More tidbits included the fact that a late-season episode will have the gang in Chicago to visit Nick’s family after the death of his father (the great Margo Martindale is playing Nick’s mother, Nick Kroll is his brother, and for some reason Jess will show up as Elvis), a flashback episode will tell the stories of each character’s loss of virginity, and Rob Reiner will return as Jess’s dad, as will Dermot Mulroney as an ex.  Nor have we seen the last of Future Nick.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."