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parks and recreation cast nbc

While NBC's workplace comedy Parks and Recreation was a bit of an underdog when it started (coming on the heels of the similarly styled hit The Office), after a bit of retooling for the second season it became a critical and audience favorite, lasting seven seasons and helping to launch several careers. Well, five years after fans said a bittersweet goodbye to the wild and wonderful denizens of Pawnee, Indiana, Parks and Recreation is coming back with original cast members like Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman! But, there is one catch.

Unfortunately, the Parks and Recreation revival isn't going to give us Will & Grace-like amounts of content, but the good news is that it's coming very soon. Parks and Recreation is doing a one-off special, set to air on April 30 at 8:30 p.m., which will benefit Feeding America. All of your favorite funny characters will be back, and we'll be treated to an all new story featuring Poehler, Pratt, Offerman, as well as Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe and Jim O’Heir. I need the end of this semi-trash month to get here NOW!

Take a look at the announcement about the Parks and Recreation special that went up on the show's official Twitter page:

I am so very ready for this! In case you're wondering what, exactly, this Parks and Rec special could be about, well, look no further than the world we currently live in. The show will be all about Leslie Knope (Poehler) trying to stay in touch with all of her friends / de-facto family during a time when self-isolation and social-distancing are the order of the day. I cannot wait for the show to explain why the three main couples (Leslie and Ben, April and Andy, and Ann and Chris) do not appear in the same room with their spouse, but I fully trust executive producer Michael Schur to come up with sweet / goofy explanations.

If you are (shamefully) unaware of the nature of Parks and Recreation, the story focuses on Leslie, the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation Department of a small, fictional town in Indiana, who's complete dedication to her job and the people of Pawnee leads her to strive for excellence among some very daunting and silly situations. And, many of those situations come about because of her co-workers, friends and the corrupt / ineffective politicians and townspeople around her.

So, what's even better than getting a new episode of Parks and Rec with all of the main stars and which will benefit charity? We've been teased that some of Pawnee's other important citizens will be making appearances, too. I don't know about you, but I'm going to be sad if we don't at least see some Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz), Diane Lewis (Lucy Lawless), Tammy II (Megan Mullally), Craig Middlebrooks (Billy Eichner) and, man, if they could even work in Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) or Jeremy Jamm (Jon Glaser) somehow I'd be so happy.

You might be wondering why, after a few years worth of hints that the cast and creatives behind Parks and Recreation were game to come back together, they all finally decided that this was the right time. Here's what Michael Schur had to say about the return and becoming the first scripted show on broadcast TV to address our current situation:

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!

I. Love. This. And, now I need to binge Parks and Recreation by Thursday night at 8:30 p.m., so you'll need to excuse me. You can revisit the series on Netflix or Hulu, but if you'd like some other viewing options until the special airs on NBC, check out our 2020 Netflix premiere schedule and see when all of this season's finales will air!