Parks and Recreation Returning to NBC! What's the Story?

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Fans of Parks and Recreation might have had enough of their beloved series -- because they've seen every episode multiple times!

And during these uncertain times, it's hard not to imagine how your favorite characters of yesterday would handle something as frightening as the coronavirus shutdown.

You're about to find out.

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If you've been aching for a visit to Pawnee, you'll get your wish.

But the visit will be as locked down as many of us are right now.

What does that mean?

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It means that we're in for a visit in the same way we visit with everyone these days -- and it's going to be done for charity!

For a one-time special, the entire core cast of the show will return in an installment that features Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope trying her best to keep in contact with the people she lives despite the directive to social distance.

Other than Poehler, Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Rhetta have all signed on, as well.

And there's even a possibility that some other Pawnee favorites could return for this once-in-a-lifetime event that will air on April 30 on NBC.

Of course, Co-creator Mike Schur and some other key writers who worked on the series will be there to ensure the characters we remember are weathering the storm.

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The charity at the center of this special is Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund. This organization helps food banks get everything they need so that they can serve the most vulnerable members of our communities.

State Farm and Subaru, who are sponsoring the special, have each already signed up to participate with $150,000 in funds matching money donated during the special.

That money is in addition to matching pledges of $500,000 from NBCUniversal and the cast and producers of Parks and Rec.

“As Americans are staying at home, they are turning to NBCUniversal for the programs that provide a respite during these uncertain times,” said Mark Marshall, President, Advertising Sales and Partnerships, NBCUniversal.

“With this special, we're reuniting fans with their favorite Pawnee locals, and collaborating with esteemed organizations like Feeding America and industry leaders including State Farm and Subaru to make an impact in communities across the country.”

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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 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!"

Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents scripted programming at NBC, added, "In such uncertain times, we can’t think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion.

"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."

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The idea of a revival was never closed entirely. At the PaleyFest reunion in 2019, Schur suggested that if the reason to revisit the series ever arose, he would be amenable.

If ever there was a time that revisiting our favorite comfort television is worthy, this is that time.

What do you think of this idea?

Are you on board with more shows that have otherwise shut down or left us altogether getting together in creative ways, especially for charity?

Let us know how you think the Pawnee gang will take to social distancing.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Parks & Rec Quotes

April: You know what? I think men are better than women.
Ann: She's kidding.
April: No I'm not. They provide for us and we must obey them because they are our masters.

Just remember every time you look up at the moon, I too will be looking at a moon. Not the same moon, obviously, that’s impossible.