You like her, you really like her! Fox's single-camera comedy New Girl smashed the ratings in its debut week and kept almost its entire audience last night, so the network is extending its order to a full season of 24 episodes.
New Girl got a big bump from its lead-in, the season premiere of Glee, when Fox aired the first episode last Tuesday. Between leftover Glee fans and a big turnout for quirky headliner Zooey Deschanel, the premiere scored over ten million viewers, with almost half of them in the crucial 18-49 range.
What's even more impressive is that New Girl scored 9.3 million viewers (4.4 million in the key demo) in its second week, a real accomplishment for a freshman comedy. Fox originally ordered a standard half-season of 13 episodes for the fall, but the higher-ups have called for an additional 11 to extend New Girl's first season into the spring.
The numbers are no flash in the pan; the show is getting positive reviews from viewers and press alike. In Screen Rant's 2011 Fall Television Preview, we highly recommended New Girl, calling it "practically perfect in every way." The show scored a 65 on Metacritic with critics leaning heavily towards the positive.
Count Fox president Kevin Reilly among the fans. He released a statement with the extended order:
We love the charming Zooey Deschanel and the entire cast, we’re knocked out with the work that Liz Meriwether and the whole staff is doing and we are really psyched about the upcoming episodes in the pipeline. It’s great that audiences have responded so positively so far and we’re confident that even more people will embrace the show – and more comedy on FOX – this season.
With the extra attention you can expect New Girl's influence (not to mention budget) to grow, and that means just one thing: guest stars. The show has already secured Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard and those insufferable "I'm a Mac" commercials) for a multi-episode arc, and last night's episode "Kryptonite" featured Damon Wayans Jr. Expect even more guest star announcements in the coming weeks and months.
New Girl airs Tuesday nights at 9PM on Fox.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider
Source: TV Line
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