New Girl is an American sitcom television series that premiered on Fox on September 20, 2011. Developed by Elizabeth Meriwether under the working title Chicks & Dicks, the series revolves around offbeat teacher Jess (Zooey Deschanel) after her moving into an L.A. loft with three men, Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), and Winston (Lamorne Morris); Jess’ best friend Cece (Hannah Simone) and old-turned-new loftmate Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.) also appear regularly. The show combines comedy and drama elements as the characters, who are in their early thirties, deal with maturing relationships and career choices. The series’ fourth season premiered on September 16, 2014.
Produced in Los Angeles as a single-camera comedy, New Girl is an ensemble show aimed at a general audience. Most episodes are anchored around Jess, who according to series creator Meriwether would have played a side character on other shows. The show’s first marketing push was on Zooey Deschanel and the promotional tagline “Simply Adorkable”, a portmanteau of “adorable” and “dork”. The producers rejected early criticism of Jess’ girlishness as they were neither creating a symbol nor wanted to make Jess emblematic of all women. Instead, they aim to be emotionally real and honest with the characters and approach the show from an emotional angle rather than firing punchlines.
New Girl has received favorable responses from critics, who named the show one of the best new comedies of the 2011 fall season. The pilot episode drew 10.28 million U.S. viewers and a 4.8 adults 18–49 demo rating, making it the highest-rated fall debut for a Fox scripted show since 2001. Particular praise has been given to the performances of Deschanel, Greenfield, Johnson and Morris. Max Greenfield was considered the show’s breakout star in season 1, before critics named Jake Johnson the breakout star of season 2. The show has been nominated for several awards, including five Golden Globe Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards.