Leslie Knope and the gang from Parks and Recreation are back. NBC has announced that the cast for the sitcom will reunite for a half-hour scripted special, with the goal of raising money for the fight against coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
A large majority of the original cast members of the show are set to be a part of the special, including Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Retta. According to NBC, other guest stars from the show will also be featured.
“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,” said Parks and Recreation co-creator Mike Schur in a statement. “I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes. 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!”
Leslie Knope wants to let you in on a secret… On April 30, #ParksAndRec is returning to NBC for “A Parks and Recreation Special”. Our workplace proximity associates, along with our neighbors at @StateFarm, are raising money for @FeedingAmerica. Join us! https://t.co/YuyWBTYmrH pic.twitter.com/ZId6Lq3rkJ
— Parks and Recreation (@parksandrecnbc) April 23, 2020
It’s notable that this is a scripted special, and not just a reunion of the cast. Friends is also set to reunite for the launch of NBC’s Peacock streaming service, however, that special is unscripted, and as such likely won’t serve as a follow-up to the story. Instead, it’s likely that the cast will talk about their time on the show and offer behind-the-scenes insight.
The Parks and Recreation special, on the other hand, is scripted — and as such the cast will be playing their original characters. That said, it’s probably wise to not expect the show to look and feel exactly like the original. The story will reportedly follow Leslie Knope as she attempts to stay connected with her friends and family during a time of social distancing. In the video announcing the reunion, Amy Poehler noted that the special was entirely shot from the cast’s homes.
The Parks and Recreation special will air on April 30, and proceeds will be donated to Feeding America’s COVID-19 response fund.
While shot-at-home specials like this are becoming more common, networks, in general, are starting to face scheduling issues considering the fact that production schedules were cut short. As the summer begins and scripted shows start to end their seasons, it will be interesting to see how networks fill their schedules.
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