new girl schmidt father peter gallagher
Courtesy of Fox

At last, “New Girl” viewers are meeting Schmidt’s long-absent dad.

Tonight’s episode will introduce “The OC’s” Peter Gallagher as Gavin, the never-before-seen father of the self-absorbed, soon-to-be married Schmidt (Max Greenfield).

In Variety‘s exclusive preview of Tuesday’s episode “D-Day,” Jess (Zooey Deschanel) finds herself in a spot of mischief at Gavin’s vineyard after agreeing to help Schmidt with wedding preparations. And judging by the unexpected chemistry between the pair, we can see where Schmidt got his confidence with the ladies.

“New Girl’s” inspired casting choice for the character of Gavin also tips its hat to another Fox hit, Josh Schwartz’s teen drama “The OC,” which previously linked Gallagher and Greenfield.  In a 2007 episode, Greenfield portrayed a younger version of Gallagher’s Sandy Cohen, the morals-driven guardian of Ben McKenzie’s Ryan Atwood.

Season five of “New Girl” also guest starred Megan Fox, who stepped in as a new addition to the cast during Deschanel’s brief maternity leave from the show. For five episodes Fox played Reagan, a pharmaceutical sales rep who sublet Jess’ room while the titular character was “sequestered on jury duty.”

Watch Variety‘s exclusive sneak peek from tonight’s episode below:

“New Girl” Season 5, Episode 12, titled “D-Day,” airs tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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