Andrew Rannells Returning for Third Season of HBO's Girls

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Fans of HBO’s Girls will no doubt be thrilled to hear that Andrew Rannells, the actor who played Hannah Horvath’s gay ex-boyfriend Elijah, will rejoin the cast for the show’s upcoming third season, reports Deadline. Rannells abruptly departed the show in the middle of its second season to pursue a lead role in NBC’s The New Normal, but the role of Girls’ Elijah opened right back up after his NBC show was cancelled after just one season.

There have been plenty of lineup changes going on between seasons of the Brooklyn-centric comedy-drama, perhaps the most unexpected of which was Christopher Abbott’s sudden announcement that he would be quitting the show to pursue theater. Abbott’s departure has yet to be written into the show, but Rannells’ exit last season was neatly wrapped up within the story as the collateral damage of a major squabble between he and Lena Dunham’s character. Also expected to join the show in some capacity next season are Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Zegen and Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon.

“I’m the luckiest guy in the world that I had this opportunity to do both of these shows, and it does come down to a scheduling thing and a timing thing,” Rannells originally told The Huffington Post after leaving for NBC last year. “I was completely heartbroken … I mean, if I could be hanging out with Hannah all the time I would. So yes, I miss them terribly.”

Rannells also could receive a regular casting credit for the show’s fourth season, should HBO choose to renew it. The third season of Girls is currently slated for a Jan. 12, 2014 premiere.

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