Credit: Fox

Surprise: Fox isn’t quite ready to break up with New Girl after all.

The network has renewed its longest-running live-action current comedy series for a seventh-but-final season. Fox isn’t yet revealing how many episodes will be ordered, but sources say the season will be far shorter than the usual 22 episodes. On Twitter, costar Jake Johnson wrote that the final New Girl run would be eight episodes.

Fans thought they might have already seen the series finale as April’s sixth season closer was written to serve as a possible conclusion given all the uncertainty surrounding the comedy’s fate.

New Girl has been on the renewal bubble in recent years, with its longevity due to Fox’s struggle to find successful new comedies as much as its own performance. The most recent season averaged 2.9 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49.

But next season is definitively billed as the final round for the trend-setting series. It’s easy to forget this today, but New Girl was pioneering when released in 2011. Starring Zooey Deschanel as single Los Angeles resident living with three male roommates, the breakout hit inspired Fox and other networks to order more comedy series focused on young female characters. Titles that clearly owed some debt to New Girl included Fox’s own The Mindy Project, and CBS’ 2 Broke Girls.

The show’s season 6 finale tied up many loose ends, including having Deschanel’s Jess rekindle her on-again, off-again romance with roommate Nick (Johnson) before moving out of the loft they shared.

Asked about what could happen in a possible season 7 after this year’s finale, executive producer David Finkel told EW, “Obviously, Jess and Nick ended where they ended and we want to look at that and figure out how to make that play in some more interesting way. I think there’s still stuff that has to be done with all the characters. Nick, as an example, has grown so much and gotten to a place where he’s become sorta successful. He’s the one character over the course of the series that I think required the most growth and where he is now is exciting, but I don’t think we’ve mined as much as we could possibly mine out of it. In a world where Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Jess have all sort of found the thing that they’ve been looking for, at least in their work lives, that Nick’s still on his road is interesting. I think there’s a lot of fun to be had there.”

Episode Recaps

New Girl

Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.

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