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Fox's veteran comedy New Girl is slated to return for its seventh and final season in 2018, but cancellation seemed quite likely for a while in Season 6. Ratings weren't what they used to be, and the final episodes of the season tied up a lot of loose ends pretty neatly. If New Girl had been cancelled after the Season 6 finale, the story wouldn't have ended on an excruciating cliffhanger. That said, one more season is better than a cancellation, and it turns out that the cast helped work to get the show renewed.
When things weren't looking too great for a Season 7, New Girl creator Liz Meriwether suggested that the cast reach out to Fox co-chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman to ask for one more batch of episodes. Actor Jake Johnson, who has played Nick from the very first episode, revealed that he reached out to the Fox head honchos:
I was one of [cast members] that wrote them and asked for more. I said, 'I don't think you gave us enough time to finish the show the right way. And I would really appreciate -- and I think the fans would appreciate -- a final goodbye to these characters.' I've done a lot of projects -- and some of the projects have fans and some don't. And to be on a television show that actually has a group of people who care [is special].'
Fox did ultimately order the renewal, although the final season will be quite different than all that came before. Season 7 will consist of only eight episodes, which is a significant drop from the first six seasons. The previous seasons all ran for at least 22 episodes, and even star Zooey Deschanel's maternity leave didn't force a big drop in episode count. Given that the show very nearly got the axe, we should all probably be happy we're getting any episodes at all, and eight may be the perfect amount to wrap things up for the characters.
The lower episode count isn't the only thing that will be different about New Girl in Season 7. The premiere will kick off with a time jump of four years after the conclusion of the Season 6 finale, which will mean a kid in the mix thanks to the news of Cece's pregnancy reveal at the very end. Jake Johnson also chatted about the time jump with TVLine, saying this:
I think it's cool to do a time jump. I think we we were running in circles a little bit, so I think jumping forward [is smart]. Everyone is a little further along [with their lives.
Jake Johnson actually stated while Season 6 was airing that he believed Season 6 would be the last, so his comment that he felt they "were running in circles" makes sense. The time jump means that the show will definitely explore some new territory in the shortened Season 8, which must have meant some fresh challenges for Johnson and the rest of the cast. We'll just have to wait and see how fans react to all the changes.
No premiere date for New Girl Season 7 has been announced yet, although it's expected to hit the airwaves at some point in the spring. For the shows with premiere dates that have already been announced, take a look at our midseason TV guide. To see all the series that do not have a future on the small screen, check out our list of all the 2017 TV cancellations.