The cast of NBC’s beloved comedy Parks and Recreation is returning to Pawnee, Indiana, for a one-time special amid the coronavirus pandemic. The half-hour scripted special to benefit Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund is set to air Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 pm ET/PT.
All of the original characters from the series will return in the Universal TV-produced special, played by original cast members Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Retta. Several guest stars from the Pawnee universe may pop in as well.
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.
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“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 executive producer Michael Schur. “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!”
The special comes five years after viewers said farewell to the iconic comedy series.
“In such uncertain times, we can’t think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. “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.”
State Farm and Subaru of America will each make matching donations of $150,000 and, combined with NBCUniversal and the writers/producers/cast of Parks and Recreation, a total of $500,000 in matching donations will be made through May 21. Donations also can be made here.
Parks and Recreation received a Peabody Award for excellence in television programming, an AFI honor as one of the Top 10 Television Shows of the Year and several Emmy nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing and lead actress for Amy Poehler, who won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in 2014.
Parks and Recreation is a production of Deedle-Dee Productions, Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment and Universal Television. Greg Daniels, Michael Schur, Howard Klein, David Miner, Morgan Sackett and Dean Holland serve as executive producers for the series.
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