Jake Johnson really did not want New Girl to end with last season’s Nick-Jess elevator smooch. So when series creator Liz Meriwether invited the cast to reach out directly to Fox co-chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman to plead their case for a final, abbreviated seventh season, he jumped at the chance.
“I was one of [cast members] that wrote them and asked for more,” Johnson tells TVLine, before recounting the specific appeal he made to Walden and Newman. “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.'”
Johnson concluded his plea by noting how rare it is for a series to have such a loyal and passionate fan base. “I’ve done a lot of projects — and some of the projects have fans and some don’t,” he shares “And to be on a television show that actually has a group of people who care [is special].”
Walden and Newman ultimately agreed to bring New Girl back for an eight-episode farewell season. And they also signed off on Meriwether & Co.’s big, bold twist: The premiere will pick up four years after the events of the Season 6 finale.
“I think it’s cool to do a time jump,” Johnson says. “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].”
New Girl Season 7 is slated to kick off this spring.