Pilots are hard and often plagued with dilemmas: casting, schedules, directing, etc… However, once a show makes it past the famously difficult stage of development and is lucky enough to be granted a series order, the general wisdom says those issues fall away (so new ones can take their place). But, that wasn’t the case for Fox’s New Girl.
Back when the comedy was ordered to pilot, actor Damon Wayans Jr. was cast as Coach. However, part of the reason Wayans took the job was because the show he was on, Happy Endings, was all but cancelled… until it wasn’t. When New Girl received its series pick-up, Happy Endings also got a renewal, thus prompting Wayans to fulfill his contractual obligation to the ABC series – which in turn left a hole in the Fox program that would eventually be filled by the masterful Lamorne Morris as Winston.Then, magic struck in the form of Happy Ending’s (unfortunate) actual cancelation. This which left Wayans able to rejoin the cast of New Girl in season three, which is where he’s remained since. But it seems the tides are changing once again, since as of today, it has been confirmed the actor will once again leave the sitcom at the end of the current season.
Said Wayans to TV Line, “I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to come back to New Girl in Season 3 to reprise the role of Coach. Working with this incredibly talented and funny cast and crew has been one of the best experiences of my career.” The report went on to state the writers are working to craft a quality exit for the actor, which will take place at the end of season four.
While we’ll be sad to see Coach go, we won’t deny that it was struggle to work him back into the Loft when he returned last year. Coach was never a fully developed character when he left after the pilot, thus making it a not at all difficult transition for Winston in episode two… but it meant, when the character returned, arcs had to be thrown his way in order to flesh him out. And now, after finally finding a way to make the entire loft gel, it’s getting another shake-up it will have to work at to recover from.
New Girl airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Fox.
[HT TV Line]