Deschanel’s ‘New Girl’ Echoes Creator

If Whitney Cummings didn’t have two network sitcoms starting this fall, there’d be no question the queen of the fall would be Zoe Deschanel, whose zany turn as a dumped woman in Fox’s “The New Girl” is delightful, dorky and funny.

But it turns out her character is based quite substantially on its creator Liz Meriwether, a blonde in big glasses who joined her on the panel for “The New Girl” at the TV Critics summer press tour Friday.

“I would like to think that it was written for me, but I don’t think it was,” says Deschanel, whose sister Emily is star of another Fox series, “Bones.” I think just Liz and I are, like, connected, our souls are connected. So when your souls are connected, you’re meant to do a show together.”

“I didn’t think I could, you know, find somebody that’s as weird as I am,” says Meriwether, 29. “I remember the first time that she came in, she read with the guys auditioning to play the guy parts, and I remember, the feeling in the room was, just the second she opened her mouth to do this scene, everybody was, like, this is a perfect match of character and actress.”

“I thought when I read it, I was like ‘I, obviously, need to play this part. This is me,’ ” Deschanel said. “I mean, not actually me, but it is a part of me, a secret part.”

Liz Meriwether

Meriwether said casting her was crucial because “we really were trying for a different kind of female character, and I mean, she’s able to play the comedy and the scene underneath, which is just so important, and I think, for me, is what really makes something actually funny. We just got so lucky. Zooey, she’s just the cat’s meow.”

To which Deschanel answered: “Well, you’re the cat’s pajamas.”

Was there ever a better matched star and writer than these two, matched in meow and pajamas?

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