A big story this week is that Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe are leaving “Parks and Rec.” When did you find that out? Do they bring the cast in and say, “Hey, we’ve got an announcement,” or do they tell you in private? You know, things like that are sensitive and need to be carefully guarded just because that kind of information in the wrong hands can be misinterpreted. But we found out pretty recently. Our boss lets us know in a gentle, loving way that there’s going to be some changes. And it’s a sad thing. We have such a happy, successful family. And so, on one hand, we’re very saddened to send a couple of our siblings off to a bright future. But, on the other hand, I’m astonished that we’ve all stayed together this long — because our cast is just such a crazy all-star team. I mean, all of those bright talents have so many opportunities pulling them in every direction. And so, rather than look at it as a tragedy, I look at it as a great victory that we managed to pull off 90 episodes together. And they’re going to do another 13. And so, I’m very happy that we’ve kept both of them around so long. The real bummer, and my response to the rest of the cast was, unfortunately, our show just got 65 percent less good-looking. The good news is, I jumped up a couple slots, so …
On Wednesday, “Parks and Recreation” fans learned that Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe are leaving in the middle of the show’s upcoming sixth season, and HuffPost TV has gotten some answers regarding how and why Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger will be exiting Pawnee.
On who made the decision for Jones and Lowe to exit: “We had the idea creatively to sort of move in that direction and it totally dovetailed and aligned with what the two actors envisioned for themselves in their careers. So it’s a big, happy, mutual hug-fest celebration,” Schur said, noting that it was not about cutting costs. Networks are always asking for shows to do things more cheaply, but that was not at all related to the departure of those actors. “It wasn’t like, ‘Uh oh, we’ve got to hack away at our cast,’” Schur said.
The news about Rob and Rashida is true — they will be leaving the show after the 13th episode of the upcoming season six. 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.
We absolutely love both Rashida and Rob, and will be sad to see them go. Rashida was one of the very first people we knew we wanted in the cast, and as important as Ann is to Leslie (and vice-versa), she’ll certainly never be far from Pawnee. Rob we initially thought we could only have for six or eight episodes, and we couldn’t be happier that he will have stuck around for 75.
They are wonderful, funny, committed actors, they’ve been a huge part of the Parks and Rec family, and we think we have a great Pawnee send-off in the works for them.