EXCLUSIVE: New Girl alumna Hannah Simone has been tapped as a series regular opposite Gina Rodriguez on ABC’s new comedy series Not Dead Yet, from Casey Johnson and David Windsor, McG and 20th Television.
She will play a new character, Sam, in the project based on Alexandra Potter’s 2020 book Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up. Sam, who is a colleague of Rodriguez’s Nell, is part of the retooling of the single-camera comedy, which now is leaning more heavily into the workplace, with the female-friendship storyline from the pilot phased out. As a result, Jessica St. Clair and Mary Elizabeth Ellis, who played Nell’s girlfriends Annabel and Fiona in the pilot, did not continue on the series.
Written by Johnson and David Windsor, Not Dead Yet centers on newly single and feeling-old Nell Stevens (Rodriguez), a self-described disaster who works to restart the life and career she left behind 10 years ago. A once-successful journalist, Nell put her career on hold to help her fiancé get his restaurant off the ground. Following their breakup, she takes the only job she can get – writing obituaries – which at first seems like a step backward but ultimately might be exactly what she needs to move forward.
Simone’s Sam is the editor of the Life & Style section of the newspaper and a busy working mom. A former wild child, Sam has hit her stride and seems to handle everything thrown her way with ease and an organized “mom purse.” But underneath this exterior, Sam struggles with taking too much on and misses her carefree single days when it was her and Nell against the world. She’s torn between her big work goals and missing the person she was before the kids and the big job. Hopefully, having Nell back will help her find that balance.
In addition to Rodriguez, Simone joins Not Dead Yet series regulars Joshua Banday and Angela Gibbs. Another of the pilot’s series regulars, Rick Glassman, who plays Nell’s roommate, will be recurring.
Johnson and Windsor executive produce with Rodriguez, Wonderland Sound and Vision’s McG, Mary Viola and Corey Marsh. The series is set to debut in midseason.
Best known for her series-regular role on the popular Fox/20th TV comedy series newgirl, Simone has been high on ABC’s casting wish list since New Girl ended its seven-season run. She starred in two back-to-back comedy ABC pilots — a reboot of Greatest American Hero, produced by 20th TV, and an untitled half-hour, which she starred in, wrote, and executive produced. Simone is repped by UTA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.