Parks and Recreation fans can rejoice because the beloved NBC TV series is coming back for one night. On Thursday, NBC announced that Parks and Recreation will return for a half-hour special episode, a quarantine edition airing on Thursday, April 30, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.
All of the original cast members — Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O'Heir, and Retta — are signed on to reprise their roles. In the show's promotional video, Poehler mentions that viewers can also expect to see a few memorable guest star characters return for the special.
The episode will revolve around the employees of Pawnee, Indiana's parks department spending their time in quarantine. At the same time, type-A deputy director Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) will be checking in on all her friends from the department and making sure everyone keeps in touch during isolation. The entire episode will be filmed from the actors' homes.Although the show's finale took place in 2022 with glimpses into the characters' distant future, this episode will take place in between the events of the finale.
However, this Parks and Recreation episode isn't just purely for entertainment. It's also a charity special to raise money for Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund. The charity works to aid food banks that serve vulnerable and high-risk areas. According to Entertainment Weekly, State Farm, Subaru of America, NBCUniversal, and the Parks writers, producers, and cast members will contribute $500,000 in matching donations.
As reported by The Verge, Parks and Recreation executive producer and co-creator Mike Schur said that he and the cast wanted to find a way to help others and lift spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.
"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. 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!"In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, the co-presidents of scripted programming at NBC, shared their excitement for bringing back Parks and Recreation for this special episode.
"In such uncertain times, we can't think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion."