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New Girl's Zooey Deschanel Amps Up the Adorable

Hannah Simone, Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris, New Girl, Cast Autumn DeWilde/FOX

Most. Adorable. TCA Panel. Ever.

Apologizes in advance to Fox's new girl Zooey Deschanel—the star of their new comedy New Girl—because we're about to drop a whole lot of adorables on you. Why apologize? Because Ms. Deschanel doesn't think she's adorable. Blasphemy, right?!

After a reporter tattled on all of his colleagues by telling Deschanel we were calling her the A-word all over Twitter (Not cool, dude. Not. Cool.), she turned red and put her hands over her ears. "My mom told me when I get compliments to cover my ears," she says. "I'm so embarrassed now. I don't know if I'm adorable. I'm flustered. Thank you. I don't think of myself that way, but I will take the compliment."

Adorable answer is adorable. OK, we'll stop with the adorables. For now.

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While Deschanel is considered a pretty big draw at the movies, she says she's never connected to any project the way she has with New Girl. " I don't know if I've ever seen a part as charming and as exciting,"  she gushes. "Literally reading the pilot script, I was laughing out loud. Every time we rehearse, I have such a great time. The material is so great. I have so much fun. The thought of doing it for a long time is really exciting to me. I don't know if I've ever read a role this good for myself."

Though the TCA panel was mostly a Z.D. lovefest, the topic of Damon Wayans Jr.'s recasting was addressed head-on. While he appears in the pilot, Wayans was unable to continue with the show after his ABC comedy Happy Endings was picked up for a second season. (Are you watching Happy Endings? If not, look at your life, look at your choices.)

Instead of reshooting the pilot, Wayans' character will move out in the second episode and Lamorne Morris will be taking his room in the apartment. Or actually taking his room back as Wayans' character was subletting from Morris while he was playing basketball in Latvia. So it's goodbye Coach, hello Winson!

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"We're really happy with the pilot," executive producer Brett Baer says while explaining the decision not to reshoot the pilot. "We were really happy with the energy Damon brought."

Morris actually auditioned for the show early on and producers were interested, but he ended up landing another project. The executive producers revealed that the first time they met Morris, he was wearing tiny shorts. "Cutoff denim," Morris clarifies.

Here are the rest of the highlights from the New Girl panel:

♦ Prepare for some sexual tension...in the future. Deschanel says there's "so much sexual tension," while creator Liz Meriwether adds, "We're going to go there in the future, for sure." Along with flirting, expect to see some tough love going on between Deschanel's Jess and her three male roommates.

♦ A jar will be an ever-present member of the show. Yes, a jar. As it turns out, it's a douchebag jar for Max Greenfield's character Schmidt. "It helped us to get into Schmidt's character," Meriwether says of the jar. "He's a douchebag who can't help being a douchebag so he wants to train himself." If only douchebag training were a real thing...

♦ Forget bromances! Deschanel and Meriwether are harboring major mutual girl crushes. "I just think Liz and I are connected, our souls are connected an when your souls are connected, you're meant to do a show together," Deschanel gushes. Later on, Meriwether called her star "the cat's meow" and Deschanel returned the compliment, calling her boss "the cat's pajamas."

♦ Fans of Deschanel's singing will be pleased with the show as Jess loves, and we mean loves, to sing. In fact, she even makes up her own theme song. "They're really well-peppered in, the singing moments," Deschanel says. Meriwether adds, "She sings when she doesn't know what to say." Jess' singing will vary depending on her mood and the moment, so you may hear "a little heavy metal, a little ghoulish."

♦ Let's hear it for the dorks!  After being asked how they can pass off that the adorable Deschanel is a dork on the show, Meriwether took a stand for dorks everywhere, saying, "There are some attractive dorks out there!" Just look at us here at Watch With Kristin. Thanks for defending our honor, Meriwether.

♦ Things became a little awkward when a reporter asked Deschanel if her sis, Bones' star Emily Deschanel, prepared her for the "idiocy" of Fox. (Ouch!) "She gave me hints on how to deal with the delightfulness of Fox," Deschanel demurred. See, adorable! (Sorry, Zooey, but you really just bring it on yourself.)

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