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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Damon Wayans Jr. is leaving New Girl again

Illustration for article titled Damon Wayans Jr. is leaving iNew Girl/i again

In what has been a twist-filled saga, Damon Wayans Jr. is once again leaving New Girl. While the actor will stick around for the rest of the show’s fourth season, he won’t return for its all-but-guaranteed fifth, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s been an on-again, off-again relationship for Wayans and the Fox comedy, beginning with when he originally starred in the show’s pilot as Coach, only to leave after the surprise renewal of Happy Endings called him back. While his character was ostensibly replaced by Lamorne Morris’ Winston Bishop, after Happy Endings was canceled, Wayans returned as Coach in New Girl’s third season—first as a guest star, then as a special guest star, then finally returning as a series regular.

Wayans is reportedly already fielding multiple pilot offers, perhaps looking to find a show that will put him front and center after starring in two ensembles. Still, as will always seemingly be the case, it’s not entirely over for Wayans and New Girl: According to showrunner Liz Meriwether, Coach will be written out in a way that leaves the door open for him to return frequently. Referring to Zooey Deschanel’s real-life pregnancy, Meriwether said, “Coach is our resolution to the upcoming ‘Who’s Jess’ Baby Daddy?’ storyline”—which, sadly, is just a joke, seeing as Deschanel’s pregnancy won’t really be written into the series. And so the world will never get to see Coach Panic Moonwalk away from the news.

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