To raise money for coronavirus relief, the original cast of Parks and Recreation are coming together for a special, new quarantine-themed episode. The special airs on Thursday, April 30 at 8:30pm ET/PT on NBC, following “The Paley Center Salutes Parks and Recreation” at 8 pm ET/PT.
Ahead of A Parks and Recreation Special, here’s what you need to know about the episode, including the cast involved:
BEWARE OF MILD SPOILERS BELOW.
‘A Parks and Recreation Special’ Features Original Stars Such as Amy Poehler & Nick Offerman Reprising Their Roles
Executive producer Michael Schur revealed that the idea seemed like a pipe dream at first, but the entire cast was immediately on board. He said “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.”
The press release for the special says that “all of the original characters from the series will return” in the new episode, reprising their roles for the first time since the show’s series finale in 2015.
The returning cast includes Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Retta.
Some guest cameos from supporting characters are also anticipated. Paul Rudd is expected to show up as his character Bobby Newport, and Ben Schwartz confirmed that he will be in the episode as Jean-Ralphio Saperstein.
A promo video shared by Parks and Recreation‘s Instagram account shows that Jay Jackson, who played hilarious newscaster Perd Hapley, also has a part to play in the episode. The clip teases, too, that Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer will bring back Dwyer’s alter-ego Johnny Karate. The caption for the post says “If Ya’ Heard it from Perd, it’s true. Johnny Karate is BACK!”
The ‘Parks and Rec’ Special Is a Scripted Half-Hour Quarantine-Themed Episode
NBC’s episode synopsis teases that, in the episode, “Leslie and the crew check on each other in a difficult time.” The press release elaborates on the sitcom episode’s plotline a bit more, adding “The story comes from the events of the day – Pawnee’s most dedicated civil servant, Leslie Knope, is determined to stay connected to her friends in a time of social distancing.”
Michael Schur said “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!” Echoing that sentiment, Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents of Scripted Programming at NBC Entertainment, said “In such uncertain times, we can’t think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion.”
According to the front page of the episode’s script, which was shared on Instagram by actor Adam Scott, the special episode was co-written by Michael Schur, Megan Amram, Dave King, Joe Mande, Aisha Muharrar, Matt Murray, and Jen Statsky.