“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to come back to New Girl in season three 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.”
Liz Meriwether, New Girl executive producer, also commented on Wayans’ departure, as well as the approach they will be taking in the show for his character’s exit.
“We love Damon and are so lucky to have had him return for the past season-and-a-half. We are working on crafting an exit for him that will leave the door open for many more returns, especially since Coach is our resolution to the upcoming ‘Who’s Jess’ Baby Daddy?’ storyline.”
While the Jess baby daddy storyline part is clearly a joke, New Girl writers are still likely leaving the door open for Damon Wayans Jr. to return.
So what greener pastures is Wayans leaving New Girl for? Well, it’s not for one thing in particular, but rather a number of possibilities, Deadline reports.
“Damon Wayans Jr. already has emerged as one of the most sought after leading comedy men for a second straight season with multiple offers, including the Rush Hour series remake. He is yet to say yes, which means there will be a ton of other pilots sent his way over the next couple of weeks. (Last year, he also was offered a number of pilots but passed on them all.)”
Wayans was originally cast in New Girl back in the 2011 pilot, but when his show Happy Endings was unexpectedly renewed, he had to drop out. His character, Coach, was not recast, however, and New Girl writers simply brought in a new character to take his place, leaving things open for a potential return. After Happy Endings was canceled in 2013, Wayans made his return during Season 3 of New Girl, and became a series regular in Season 4 – even prompting a recent opening change to the show.
Is this season the last we’ll see of Coach? It’s hard to say, since Wayans is apparently a very hot commodity, and according to Fox’s head of casting Tess Sanchez, the hardest type to cast is Damon Wayans Jr. “He has now become his own type.”
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