Tonight’s New Girl was the end of season six. It could also be the end of the series, since Fox has yet to cut a renewal deal with its sister studio. As a result, New Girl showrunners Dave Finkel and Brett Baer had to put together an episode that would satisfy the hang-out comedy’s fans if it was the last one ever, but that would offer up enough story possibilities in the event they come back for more.
(Spoilers coming.) This was a big maturing year for the show’s characters. Schmidt and Cece bought a house, moved out of the loft, and found out in the finale that Cece is pregnant. Winston and Aly got engaged, and Winston reached out to his long-absent father. Schmidt’s first name was finally revealed to also be Winston, which is why everyone calls him Schmidt. Nick’s Pepperwood Chronicles novel turned out to be an unexpected hit among the Young Adult crowd, and Jess finally got promoted to principal. And after outside relationships with Reagan and Robbie didn’t work out, Nick and Jess finally reunited as a couple — after a callback to the Dirty Dancing singalong Nick led in the pilot to cheer up a heartbroken Jess — in what may be the series’ final moments.
Late last week, I spoke with Finkel and Baer about where the show stands, what they wanted to be sure to do before it was all over, why Jess and Nick — a coupling whom fans have tended to enjoy more in theory than in the times the show has actually put them together — would be different in season seven, and a lot more, coming up just as soon as we schedule a no-pants dinner…
What would you say at this point are your odds of coming back for another season?
Dave Finkel: I’d say they’re looking pretty good. We’ve been hearing things here and there and nothing official yet, but it seems like there’s a good chance at least of a short order, but nothing firm.
Brett Baer: All the scuttlebutt is pretty positive. I think it’s just the business stuff that is being worked out and that’s what we’re hoping for.
You didn’t have any guarantee you were coming back, so this could wind up being the series finale. What did you want to make sure that you had in it?
Baer: I think for us its really important that we give the audience a very satisfactory conclusion to the series if in fact it was going to be the ending, and we wanted to make sure that there was some resolution of sorts on the Nick and Jess front that would at least give us an opportunity to give the audience a little bit of what we think they want and then, at the same time, also provide for us a launching point for a possible seventh season. So we didn’t want to shut the doors completely. I think we’ll have to be creative about that to keep the engine of the show going, but I think besides that, we just wanted to see all these characters reach the whole kind of arc.