To raise money for coronavirus relief, the original cast of the beloved sitcom Parks and Recreation are coming together for a special quarantine-themed new special episode of the show. “A Parks and Recreation Special” airs on Thursday, April 30 at 8:30pm ET/PT on NBC. The episode is 30 minutes long.
According to NBC’s primetime television schedule, the network will air another new program called “The Paley Center Salutes Parks and Recreation.” The description for the special teases that “The cast celebrates the beloved show with clips and more.” That special airs for one half-hour at 8pm ET/PT.
The Special Includes ‘Parks and Rec’ Stars Such as Amy Poehler & Chris Pratt, Reprising Their Original Roles on the Show
The special, while filmed remotely from the actors’ homes (following social distancing guidelines), features a new pieced-together story for Pawnee and its residents, placing them comically within the quarantined situation all viewers at home are experiencing. For fans of the show, this is the first time they will get to see new scripted content featuring their favorite Parks and Rec characters since the show’s series finale in 2015.
All of the original stars are expected to appear, including Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Retta. The press release also teased that there may be some surprise cameos from some of the sitcom’s other beloved characters.
It is anticipated that Paul Rudd and Ben Schwartz are among the special guests participating in the episode. Rudd played Bobby Newport on the sitcom and Schwartz played Jean-Ralphio Saperstein.
In NBC’s press announcement, executive producer Michael Schur 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. 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!”
Funds Raised By the Special Will Benefit Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund
The 30-minute comedy special telecast is meant to raise money and support for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response fund. Donations up to $500,000 will be matched by State Farm, Subaru, NBCUniversal and the writers, producers, and cast of Parks and Recreation. State Farm and Subaru of America will contribute $150,000 each, and the remaining $200,000 will be matched by NBCUniversal and the Parks and Rec team.
If you are interested in donating, you may do so here.
In a statement, Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, co-presidents of Scripted Programming at NBC Entertainment added to that sentiment, 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. 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.”