Would “New Girl” have been “darker” without FCC restrictions? Does True American have actual rules? Will there be a reunion?

Yes, no and maybe, say “New Girl” creator and showrunner Elizabeth Meriwether and cast members Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone. The cast and creator joined Variety Deputy TV editor Michael Schneider at Variety’s TVFest, presented by Amazon Advertising, to discuss the ways in which network television restrictions shaped the show and how Jess, Schmidt, Nick, Winston and Cece would have fared during the pandemic.

“Our show was essentially about five people who never left their house and all hung out together, so I think our characters would actually be pretty happy just hanging out,” Meriwether said. “But then somebody would die maybe. Probably Damon [Wayans Jr.] would die.”

The gang joked about how in quarantine, Schmidt would take control of the house, bossing everyone around, while Nick would try to prep the house while buying all the wrong things.

“Winston is selling homemade toilet paper on Etsy. Artisanal,” Deschanel joked.

“I would imagine there’s some weird Schmidt/Cece sex thing with various N95 masks, but then we would end up cutting it,” Meriwether said with a laugh.

While talking about how TV has changed considerably in the last 10 years, Deschanel said, “I remember we weren’t allowed to say the word ‘penis’ more than once, and I was like, ‘what’s the difference between saying it once and saying it three times?'”

Speaking on how “New Girl” might have been different on a streaming service rather than Fox, Meriwether said FCC regulations sometimes made scenes — like the one where Schmidt asks Jess’ friend and OB/GYN for sex tips — funnier.

“Some of that stuff actually ends up helping comedy,” she said. “I think some restraints force you to be creative.”

Discussing their favorite moments from shooting the series, Simone mentioned playing ping-pong with guest star Prince and Morris said he loved how his character Winston became funnier and weirder over time.

“I just remember laughing in a way that was so guttural where hair and makeup would have to come in and redo all of our makeup because I would be crying,” Greenfield said. “We’ll come back to those moments every so often, and sometimes just thinking about them will make me laugh in a way that will even surprise me.”

Johnson added that the cast created an environment where they were “allowed to mess with each other and try to make each other laugh because [they] might hit something really funny.” Speaking of Johnson, the cast had a laugh at the recent Internet obsession with his character, Nick Miller, perhaps after a few too many binges of the show on Netflix. Nick Miller is an Internet thirst trap, and Johnson’s co-stars love teasing him about it.

Talking about the show’s legacy, Meriwether touched on the show’s tear-jerker finale, which included a brief flash forward in the future that shows the characters playing the iconic “New Girl” drinking game True American with their children.

“It was really hard for me to let them go… I felt like it was very hard to not know what happened in their lives,” Meriwether said. “We just wanted to show that everyone was happy and okay because you really do fall in love with these characters.”

Will the gang ever get back together again for a reunion show?

“I think we need a little more water under the bridge is what I’ll say, but yeah,” Meriwether said. “When it feels right, when the universe says it’s time, I will be there with my little tippy-tap computer writing stuff.”