Damon Wayans Jr. Is Leaving New Girl Again, Get The Details

Just as the NFL goes through a bunch of coaching changes once the football season is over, FOX’s hit comedy New Girl will also experience its own Coach-related troubles at the end of this season. When New Girl returns for Season 5, it will be without Coach, as Damon Wayans, Jr. will be making yet another exit from the series.

Once more, the decision is one made by Wayans, according to TVLine, which reports he is opting out of any contract renewals that would bring his goofball character back for another year. It’s good that things remained amicable between Wayans and New Girl’s brass, since he’ll almost definitely find his way back into Jess’ life before the show is off the air. He’s due for a recurring role late in Season 7, right?

New Girl executive producer Liz Meriwether reinforces that idea in a way with the following statement she gave to TVLine.

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.

That last part is a joke in reference to the recent news that star Zooey Deschanel is pregnant. Fortunately for everyone who agrees a baby is the last thing New Girl needs, it’s been confirmed the real-life pregnancy won’t be making its way into the fictional storyline at any point in Season 5. So we definitely don’t need to worry about Coach teaching the word “moist” to any kids.

For those unfamiliar with Wayans’ back-and-forth time with the show, he was part of the original cast lineup, as seen in the pilot episode. Alas, he had a prior commitment to the ABC series Happy Endings, so he had to drop out of New Girl altogether. That is, until Happy Endings came to an unhappy ending, and he returned to the Fox comedy in a Season 3 arc. When that went well, he stuck around and became a full-blown regular in Season 4.

Could this be the start of a bigger movie career for the comic actor? Wayans was in two of 2014’s biggest hits, Big Hero 6 and Let’s Be Cops, and now he’s got more time to devote to it. Will you guys miss Coach?

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.