Just after fall schedules are determined at networks' upfront presentations in late May, major networks send the pilots of their new programs to the media. These previews are not for in-depth review, because many pilots are retooled, recast, and reshot before they officially debut, and the final product might be much different. But that doesn't mean we can't share some basic ideas of what to expect!
The Zooey Deschanel Show New Girl on Fox, which will air Tuesdays at 9pm starting on September 20. The series has also been picked up for broadcast by E4 in the UK and Citytv in Canada. Yes, we're finally exporting our most valuable natural resource, Zooey Deschanel.
The Cast: Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer, Elf), Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, Jake M. Johnson, Lamorne Morris
Fox's official logline: "Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late twenties who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable, and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn't. Although she's dorky and awkward, she's comfortable in her own skin. More prone to friendships with women, she's not used to hanging with the boys—especially at home."
Early Intel: New Girl was created by Liz Meriwether, one of Hollywood's most sought-after female screenwriters. Though to be honest, her biggest claim to fame is the bleh film No Strings Attached, so she may be more a product of hype than anything else. The show marks the TV debut of Deschanel, whose legion of obsessed fans is growing faster than the crowd at a Cut Copy concert.
First Thoughts: I think my crush on Zooey Deschanel is OVA. I think.
What the series has going for it: Zooey certainly is a looker, and her gigantic baby blues sure grab the attention of the camera (but will her skinny-jeans-clad following tune in?). Your enjoyment of the pilot will hinge on how much Zooey-being-weird-but-cute you can stomach.
Room for Improvement: Have you ever met someone who was endearingly quirky for the first thirty seconds, but then it was so obvious they were trying too hard to be cutesy goofy that the sight of them made you want to repeatedly crush your head in a car door? That's New Girl for ya. In the version we saw, there was even a scene where she took off her glasses and all of a sudden she was "hot."
The Coolest Part of the Early Version: In the pilot we saw, Damon Wayans Jr. played one of the male roommates Jess moves in with, and he was pretty good—just like he's pretty good on ABC's Happy Endings. But since Happy Endings is returning for a second season, Wayans' New Girl character will be recast. It's a shame, because he was pretty funny in the early version, but unfortunately we won't see him in the network premiere. Wait, what's that? Fox isn't re-shooting the pilot? It's just replacing Wayans with another black guy in the second episode? Oh, never mind then.
Last Word: New Girl is so cute you'll throw up.
Here's Fox's official trailer for the series:
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Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom