Parks and Recreation Cast Is Reuniting for Benefit Special to Aid Coronavirus Relief
The special is set to air on NBC on Thursday, April 30
Give a warm Pawnee welcome to the cast of Parks and Recreation!
Five years after the series finale of the beloved NBC sitcom, the ensemble cast is reuniting for a 30-minute special that will see Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones and more reprise their respective characters Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, Ben Wyatt and Ann Perkins.
Parks and Rec originally aired for seven seasons from 2009 to 2015.
The special will pick up on the characters' lives as they deal with social distancing.
"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," a press release obtained by PEOPLE said.
The special was made to raise money for Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund, and fans are encouraged to donate "in the spirit of Leslie Knope and do-gooders everywhere" at www.feedingamerica.org/parksandrec. The money raised will go toward enabling food banks with resources they need to serve vulnerable members of the community during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Executive producer Michael Schur said in a statement, “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."
Schur said that everyone in the cast was excited to join in on the project.
“I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes," he 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!”
"In such uncertain times, we can’t think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion,” said NBC Entertainment Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta in a statement.
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“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," they added.
Fans have been waiting to see the fictional residents of Pawnee, Indiana, return to their screens ever since the series finale — and it's been no secret that the comedy's stars have been open to the idea of a reboot of some kind.
Last year, Poehler told Entertainment Weekly that she was ready to put on her Leslie Knope suit at any moment.
“I’m like [her Parks and Rec character] Leslie Knope in one way, which is that I am not good at playing it cool,” Poehler told the outlet.
“So if there was an actual thing happening, you’d probably be able to pry it out of me pretty fast," the actress added.
"Again, I should probably play harder to get but that’s really not me or Leslie’s style so you know, I’m avail.”
A Parks and Recreation Special will air Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.