ONE-MINUTE RECAP: How FOX'S Zooey Deschanel Sitcom "The New Girl" Became This Season's Early Breakout Hit

new girl fox

Led by Zooey Deschanel, FOX’s new comedy “The New Girl” drew over 10 million viewers last night.

And before you go giving its lead-in, “Glee,” all the credit, consider this: only 8.9 million watched that show, the one that’s supposed to be the pop culture juggernaut.

“New Girl” picked up more than a million viewers after “Glee” wrapped.

And every one of them is well-deserved — because the pilot is a study in perfect viewer captivation.

Producers knew half the viewers turning in just wanted to look at Zooey Deschanel. The first crucial 10 seconds of the show are just her face -- channel-flipping urge instantly subdued.

Deschanel's character catches her boyfriend cheating on her within the first minute of the pilot. Instant protagonist sympathy achieved.

Then, the show cleverly avoided the girl-who-only-has-guyfriends trap (this ploy often alienates some female viewers) by immediately throwing Deschanel's female best friend into the mix.

See this schticky stuff? It was all over the show's previews and had us feeling sceptical. But it's kept to a realistic minimum in the show itself -- and Deschanel's loose, casual performance keeps her awkwardness from feeling too put-on.

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