Fox has, in a somewhat surprising move, renewed "New Girl" for a sixth season, according to a network announcement Tuesday.
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The series, which stars Zooey Deschanel, becomes the sixth show from Fox's current comedy lineup to be picked up for the 2016-2017 viewing season. It joins "Bob's Burgers," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "The Last Man on Earth," 'Family Guy," and "The Simpson." It is currently Fox's longest running live-action comedy.
“Every network comedy should aspire to what Liz Meriwether is achieving in ‘New Girl,’ with its bravura dialogue, inventive and witty performances by the talented cast and emotionally engaging storytelling,” said Fox Broadcasting entertainment president David Madden to Variety. “The series is as creatively strong today as it ever was, we want to congratulate ‘New Girl’ on reaching its milestone 100th episode, and we can’t wait for the next subversive and hilarious chapter of these characters’ lives.”
According to this season's Nielsen "live plus-3" estimates, "New Girl" is averaging 1.7 among adults 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers overall. While that is lower than it was last year, it is still the strongest show on a struggling Tuesday night block.
Now that "American Idol" has come to a close, Fox will go into the next season with 40 hours of programming to fill. The network has increased the number of pilots they have in development from last season, and has renewed a number of shows, including "Lucifer," "Rosewood," "Empire," "Gotham," and "Bones." Even "Scream Queens," which struggled with both critics and finding an audience.
However, there are still a few shows that are awaiting news of their fates, including "Sleepy Hollow," "Border Town," "Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life," "The Grinder," and "Grandfathered."
One show, "Minority Report," was cancelled earlier this season, and "Second Chance," a freshman drama, seems unlikely to be renewed.
In addition, Fox has given a straight-to-series order to three projects for next season, including "Shots Fired," an event series, "Son of Zorn," a comedy, and a revival of "Prison Break."
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“We really focused this year on having a number of projects that were based on existing IP so that we wouldn’t be starting from zero when we’re trying to create awareness about our shows,” Fox Television Group CEO Gary Newman told Variety last week following the “Idol” finale.