‘Parks And Recreation’ Showrunner Explains Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones Departure

Shortly after it was reported that Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones would be leaving Parks and Recreation midway through season six, showrunner Mike Schur issued a statement explaining that there had been numerous discussions about the pair’s future with the comedy.

At the end of season five, Jones’ Ann Perkins starts the process of in vitro fertilization. She asks Lowe’s Chris Trager to be the father, and he accepts. The May 2 finale drew 2.99 million viewers.

“We’ve been working on their storyline (on and off) for four seasons now, and heading into this year, with the two of them contemplating parenthood, it felt like a natural time to move them into the next phase,” Schur said. “We absolutely love Rashida and Rob, and will be sad to see them go.”

Schur also said that Jones was one of the first people the series wanted to cast, and “as important as Ann is to Leslie (and vice-versa), she’ll certainly never be far from Pawnee.” He went on to say that Lowe was only expected to be on the show for a couple of episodes and that they “couldn’t be happier that he will have stuck around for 75.” He assured fans that the duo — whom he called “wonderful, funny, committed actors” and a “huge part of the Parks and Rec family” — would get a “great Pawnee send-off.”

Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe will leave Parks and Recreation after the 13th episode of the upcoming sixth season. The one-hour season premiere, which is set in London, will air September 26.

Shortly after Rob Lowe joined the cast in season two, Paul Schneider, who played city planner Mark Brendanawicz, left the series to pursue a film career. He appeared in the 2011 film adaptation of Water for Elephants.

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