‘New Girl’ Alum Jake Johnson Reveals Why Series Really Ended

For many viewers, New Girl is one of the best sitcoms of the past decade. The quirky comedy starred Zooey Deschanel and a full ensemble cast, with many of the storylines diving deep into the travails of life as a 30-something.

Sadly, the show didn’t last past the seventh season, with that final season being an abbreviated one — and to this day, many fans wonder why the show ended so abruptly. Fortunately, Jake Johnson, one of the show’s stars, has opened up about what went on behind the scenes, giving viewers insight into why the beloved show is no longer on the air, and how the actors felt about the series ending. 

When did ‘New Girl’ premiere?

Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel in New Girl. They are sitting at a dining table.
L-R: Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel in the “Dress” episode ‘New Girl’. | FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

RELATED: ‘New Girl’: How Much the Apartment Would Cost in Real Life

New Girl debuted on television in 2011, quickly becoming one of the best-rated new television comedies. Fans took to Deschanel as Jess, a quirky teacher who moves in with three male roommates after discovering that her boyfriend cheated on her.

In short order, Jess and her new roommates come to terms, and although frequent misunderstandings and screw-ups occur, mainly over their somewhat unorthodox living situations, the roommates eventually form a deep, enduring friendship.

In addition to Deschanel, New Girl starred performers like Johnson, Max Greenfield, Damon Wayans Jr., Lamorne Morris, and Hannah Simone. The series also welcomed many guest stars over the years, as the show grew in popularity. Unfortunately, the show’s time on the air was numbered, and in early 2018, the final season of New Girl aired. 

Why did ‘New Girl’ go off the air?

RELATED: How to Play True American From ‘New Girl’

For many fans, New Girl going off the air suddenly was somewhat shocking. It seemingly ended at the peak of its popularity, without much warning. Still, there was a lot going on behind the scenes, and as reported by ScreenRant, the somewhat poor ratings for the sixth season played a big part in the decision to cancel the show.

The report states that executives kept an eye on the lagging ratings, and even filmed an ending for the sixth season that could double as a series finale. However, with New Girl being one of the biggest television comedies on the air at the time, the showunners ultimately determined to bring the characters back for an abbreviated seventh and final season. 

What did Jake Johnson say about the cast of ‘New Girl’ getting fired?

RELATED: Did A Major Casting Change Help ‘New Girl’ to Succeed?

Johnson, who played Nick in New Girl, has revealed his own opinions on the way that New Girl ended. In a virtual Q/A session in early February 2021, Johnson stated that “we didn’t quit. They fired us. Everybody uses cool terms like canceled or creatively moving on.” He added: “That was a job that we had that we all liked having, and then we got the call that they fired us.”

Johnson went on to describe how the cast “got fired at the end of season 6. Zooey and I wrote the president, Dana Walden of 20th Century Fox, and said, ‘You guys might not feel the fan base because they’re younger and they’re not watching Tuesdays at 8 p.m. But they’re watching this show. And if we just end now, it’s such disrespect for the people who we’ve watched 140 episodes.'” Fortunately for fans, episodes of New Girl are available for binge-watching — and rumors persist of an eventual reunion, although there has been no official announcement from showrunners.