||Jake Johnson, Zooey Deschanel, Nasim Pedrad, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, Lamorne Morris, Nelson Franklin
Zooey Deschanel stars as Jessica "Jess" Day, a well-liked, bubbly, and adorable school teacher in her late 20s, who finds herself without a place to live when she discovers that her boyfriend of six years has been cheating on her. She finds a new place to stay when she moves into a loft in L.A. with three single guys: Nick Miller (Jake Johnson), a surly bartender with little direction in life; Schmidt (Max Greenfield), a marketing executive and modern-day Casanova who's rough past informs his bloated ego; and Winston Bishop (Lamorne Morris), a former professional athlete who achieved modest success abroad, struggling to adjust to life back in the United States. Morris, who debuts in episode 2, was hired by showrunners after the pilot was complete, as a replacement for Damon Wayans Jr.'s Coach; the actor was forced to leave New Girl due to contractual obligations for a show called Happy Endings, which aired on another network. As a result, his character was written out of the show, but still exists in the world inhabited by the characters. The season focuses on establishing the relationships between the roommates, as well as their relations with the opposite sex. Through both, integral character points are formed or discovered. Cece (Hannah Simone) is Jess' lifelong best friend, and throughout the season her shared attraction with Schmidt is explored, though they break up in the final episode of the season. Hints of Jess and Nick's attraction to each other are also established, but they spend much of the season dating other people (guest stars including Lake Bell, Justin Long, Lizzy Caplan, Dermot Mulroney, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis). Winston, the only major character to undergo a career change in season one, starts dating an old flame, Shelby (Kali Hawk), in the second half of the season.