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One of the more ratings-successful non-CBS comedies to make its way onto primetime in the last couple of years is New Girl, Elizabeth Meriwether's ensemble comedy about a group of friends living together in a loft. The second season just wrapped up on Fox last spring, and today comes word that Season 1 has become available in its entirety on Netflix.
On premise, New Girl isn't anything particularly extraordinary, focusing on a group of single people being single and trying to navigate through adulthood, dealing with various professional and personal issues along the way. And then there's three guys living with one girl, which occasionally offers its own layer of humor. But - as is the case for many great comedies - what works so well for New Girl is the quirkiness of its characters. And no one is quirkier than Zooey Deschanel, who plays the titular "new girl" Jess, a woman who moves into a loft full of guys after she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her. Her new home is part of Jess' attempt to start over. Her roommates are Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Liamorne Morris). And Jess' best friend Cecilia (Hannah Simone) rounds out the group, though she doesn't live with them. As many friends-focused comedies tend to do, there's been some romantic crossover with some of the characters, and that's been part of the driving force of the comedy, as has the chemistry among the cast and the fact that the success of the series hasn't been entirely on Deschanel's shoulders.
THR reported today that Netflix locked in an exclusive deal to streaming the first season of New Girl for the is subscribers. That's the first 24 episodes of the series, from "Pilot" to "See Ya." So those who didn't get to see the first episode of the series can see Damon Wayans Jr. playing one of the original roommates, before his character was written out ahead of the second episode, when Wayans returned to Happy Endings. With Happy Endings' officially cancelled, we may be seeing Wayans back on New Girl in Season 3.
THR says Season 1 is available now and subsequent seasons will debut after their broadcast run. There's no mentioned timeframe, but given that it's more than a year since Season 1 wrapped up, we may have to wait about that long for Season 2 to show up. In the meantime, this is another example of a relatively new series ending up Netflix before it goes syndicated on another network. The same thing happened with Scandal, which was on Netflix months after it wrapped up its first season. And in a similar, more extreme case, CBS has Under the Dome streaming through Amazon Prime less than a week after each new episode airs. Getting these shows available streaming may help improve their viewerships while there's still time for the shows to benefit from them. Scandal's numbers improved noticeably after the show became available on Netflix. Whether or not the increase is directly or substantially related to the Netflix availability, we can only speculate, but as a Netflix subscriber, I'd love to see more current series making its way onto the service so that new viewers can get on board during the off-season.
Watch New Girl on Netflix here. The series will return to Fox for Season 3 on September 17.