Despite being in limbo when its sixth season aired, New Girl is getting a seventh and final season, which is quite a feat in this day and age of sudden and swift cancellations. Creator Liz Meriwether told the 2018 TCA winter press tour audience that she “fought for the final season,” and that she hopes it will be worth it.

It sounds like it will absolutely be worth it. The stars showed such affection for one another during their final TCA panel, and Meriwether teased that the last eight episodes are “a love letter to the fans.” Zooey Deschanel added that it was “a treat” to do this show for seven years.

“I’ve gotten to work with all these people through so many life changes and through watching everyone grow as people and as actors and as writers. … I feel so fortunate that was I able to be there are the beginning and help with the casting process and meet every single one of these actors when they came in,” Deschanel said. “I read with everyone and I feel this sense of camaraderie that I’ve never felt before and don’t know if I’ll ever have again, so I just can’t say enough positive things about this experience, just for me as a person. I love these people so much.”

She and the rest of the cast also said that fans of the show will really be able to “go deep” in season seven, meaning that there are a ton of Easter Eggs and guest stars that will mean a lot to longtime fans. EP Brett Baer said that at the beginning of writing season seven, they made a list in the writers’ room of people they wanted to get back for the final season, and they were able to get pretty much everybody on that list.

“So many great people came back. We were very fortunate that people whose schedules were tricky, they found the time,” Meriwether added.

As for the characters, three years will have passed when season seven picks up, but there won’t be any huge surprises in terms of where they are in their lives. Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Allie (Nasim Pedrad) are married, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone) are parents, and Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Deschanel) are touring the world together, riding the wave of Nick’s success as a YA author. It’s really about them truly being adults now.

“They’ve kind of grown up, so the engine of the show is more about this group of people really as adults, with kids, with jobs … the characters have grown a lot,” Meriwether said.

“This whole show was built on these characters that were broken, and the end of the series focused on if they fixed each other. … I think we can say yes,” added EP Dave Finkel.

And with growth comes changes, so one thing Simone let slip is that there’s a death looming. Many people are speculating that the victim is Ferguson, Winston’s cat. The cast and creators will neither confirm nor deny that, but be prepared, Ferguson fans.

To cheer you up, here’s one final tidbit: True American is making a comeback. The cast revealed, though, that it’s a lot more fun to watch on the show than it is for them to shoot, and no one really knows all the rules.

“The reality of True American is if you actually played it the way we play it on the show, you would be

dead. The amount of alcohol…” Finkel said with a laugh.

“I don’t think anyone could possibly drink that much and still be alive,” added Deschanel.

The final season of New Girl premieres April 10 on Fox.

Do you have any predictions for New Girl‘s final season? Share them with us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Jeff Lipsky/Fox + Ray Mickshaw/Fox + Jennifer Clasen/Fox)