Q: Like you, I am an avid fan of “New Girl” on Fox. I was wondering what happened to Coach, the character played by Damon Wayans Jr., who was in the first episode and then suddenly left? — Giselle F., via e-mail
A: When “New Girl” filmed its pilot episode in spring 2011, the original roommates were Coach (played by Damon), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Nick (Jake Johnson), with Jess (Zooey Deschanel) taking Winston’s room, since he was off playing basketball in Latvia. However, Damon also was co-starring on the ABC show “Happy Endings,” which at the time “New Girl” began production was looking like it wasn’t going to get renewed for another season. So, when “Happy Endings” did indeed get renewed, the producers at “New Girl” had to find a new fourth roommate and opted for Winston (Lamorne Morris) to return from Latvia to reclaim his old room.
Q: I was super-bummed when I found out that “Cougar Town” wasn’t going to air on ABC until January as a midseason replacement, and now I am hearing that that might not even happen! Please tell me it hasn’t been canceled. — Bridget D. in North Carolina
A: I have good news and bad news: The goods news is that “Cougar Town” will be back this season; the bad news is its return has been pushed back until March. More bad news: Instead of its planned 22-episode season, the order has been cut to 15 episodes. This news makes me super-bummed too, as I have been going through some serious withdrawals, and have been forced to drink wine out of Big Joe while reading Laurie Keller’s hilarious Twitter feed (twitter.com/TheLarmy) and throwing pennies in my Bobby Cobb Official Competition Penny Can as I wait with bated breath for new episodes from my favorite Pinot-swilling gals and their awesome sidekick fellas.
Q: A while back you mentioned that Fox was going to make an animated version of “Napoleon Dynamite.” Are those plans still going forward? — Jeremy G., via e-mail
A: It’s full-steam ahead on the weekly cartoon adaption of “Napoleon Dynamite,” which will be voiced by the movie’s stars, including John Heder, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Aaron Ruell, John Gries and the gang. The 13-episode series premieres on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 8:30 ET, right in the middle of Fox’s super-successful “animation block.” Read what series star Efren Ramirez told me about the show in our interview last year.
Q: I was watching “Robocop” over the weekend and wondered what its star, Peter Weller, can be seen in now? He was so good in that movie! — George T., Omaha, Neb.
A: Peter Weller, who very recently was a regular on “Dexter” playing Stan Liddy, is the latest big-name star to be cast in the newest “Star Trek” movie, which is yet untitled. The film’s details are being kept under wraps, but I can tell you that Peter is playing a principal character in the May 2013 sequel to the 2009 megablockbuster.