'New Girl' Star Joins New ABC Comedy as Series Regular

Actress Hannah Simone has been cast as a series regular in the highly-anticipated new comedy series Not Dead Yet, coming to ABC this fall. Simone is best known for playing Cece, one of the main characters on Fox's hit sitcom New Girl from 2011 to 2018. Now she will be back in familiar territory as Sam, a friend and colleague to Rodriguez's character Nell on Not Dead Yet.

Not Dead Yet is based on Alexandra Potter's 2020 book Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up, but according to a report by Deadline it has been reworked extensively for the TV format. It centers around Nell, a woman looking to get back into journalism after a decade away from the business. She takes a job writing obituaries for a local paper, only to find that she has somehow developed the ability to see ghosts. The show has been through some highly-publicized hurdles reported on by Deadline, but now Simone seems to have cemented the show's new direction.

Simone plays Sam, a long-time friend of Nell who has been with her through all of her struggles. She is reportedly the editor of the Life & Style section of the newspaper where Nell has just been hired. Sam is also a busy mother obsessed with organization, but that is just the brittle exterior over her yearning for a wilder life. Sam is described as a "former wild child" missing her carefree single lifestyle – and her tight bond with Nell.

As mentioned above, the show picks up with Nell trying to get her journalism career back after a decade away. The show will reportedly begin with the dissolution of her engagement. She quit a successful career in journalism to help her fiance get his restaurant up and running, and now that they are separated, she wants to get back to her own passion. While she sees obituaries as a step backward at first, she will likely find her unique affinity for the job.

Not Dead Yet was ordered straight to series back in May, but it has reportedly been through one scrapped pilot already. In the first version, Nell had two female friends played by Jessica St. Clair and Mary Elizabeth Ellis, but they will not be continuing on the show now. Simone makes sense for this role, though some will undoubtedly compare it to her role at the beginning of New Girl.

Not Dead Yet is in production now and is expected to premiere this fall on ABC. So far, there is no firm release date.