Parks and Recreation is coming back to television with a new episode for the first time in 5 years! As Deadline reports, the cast of the hit NBC comedy is reuniting for a televised special that will benefit Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund.
Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Retta have all been confirmed to reprise their roles in the half-hour scripted special. There's also the possibility of guest stars from Parks and Rec making appearances as well!
Parks and Rec special to show Pawnee while social distancing
Parks and Recreation's relentlessly optimistic protagonist "Leslie Knope" will be at the heart of the show's special, which is said to take place in current times. According to the synopsis Deadline provided, "The story comes from the events of the day – Pawnee’s most dedicated civil servant, Leslie Knope (Poehler), is determined to stay connected to her friends in a time of social distancing".
The show's executive producer Michael Schur shared why the one-time reunion for a cause came together. "Like a lot of other people, we were looking for ways to help and felt that bringing these characters back for a night could raise some money," Schur said.
Parks and Rec cast were immediately on board for new special
Parks and Recreation's cast didn't take much convincing to agree to do the special. As Schur revealed, it took less than an hour to get them on board! "I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes," he said. "Our old Parks and Rec team has put together one more 30-minute slice of (quarantined) Pawnee life and we hope everyone enjoys it. And donates!"
Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming at NBC Entertainment, also issued a statement about the special. "In such uncertain times, we can’t think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion," they said.
"A huge thank you to Mike Schur and the cast of Parks and Recreation for putting this wonderful special together and bringing a smile to all our faces while raising money for such a worthwhile cause".
Parks and Rec special set to air next Thursday on NBC
As Deadline has shared, State Farm and Subaru of America will each be making matching donations of $150,000 for the cause. Combined with the efforts of NBCUniversal and the cast and crew of Parks and Rec, a total of $500,000 in donations will be made through May 21.
Donations can also be made directly through Feeding America's website. "A Parks and Recreation Special" is set to air on NBC on Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 PM ET/PT.