In times of uncertainty — say, the kind of uncertainty that surface during a global public health pandemic — the world needs heroes. Thankfully, NBC has announced plans to bring one of the network's best fictional heroes back to the small screen for a one-time special event. Yup, Leslie Knope will return for a Parks and Recreation reunion special that you can watch later this week.
"In such uncertain times, we can't think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion," Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents of scripted programming at NBC Entertainment said in a statement shared by the network.
Five years after Parks and Recreation ended its seven-season run, NBC is taking viewers back to Pawnee, Indiana with a reunion special is to air on NBC at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on April 30. Fans who missed the initial airing will be able to stream the Parks and Recreation special on Peacock TV, the network's new streaming service beginning May 1.
The network announced plans last week to host a scripted, in-character Parks and Recreation reunion in partnership with State Farm and Subaru to benefit Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund. According to the network, NBCUniversal, State Farm, and Subaru will match donations made to Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund through May 21 for a combined total of $500,000 in matching donations.
"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," Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur (who also served as the show's executive producer) said in a press release. "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 30-minute special will see all of the original cast, including Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Retta, reunite virtually due to social distancing. In fact, NBC has teased that the reunion's plot will be drawn from current events and see Knope, "Pawnee's most dedicated civil servant, ... determined to stay connected to her friends in a time of social distancing." The show is believed to be the first scripted show to air during broadcast that addresses the current coronavirus pandemic.
Timeliness aside, long-time Parks and Recreation fans won't want to miss catching up on Pawnee's latest happenings and seeing how Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson are handling quarantine.