NBC's Parks and Recreation premiered on April 9, 2009, and aired 125 episodes over seven seasons before coming to an end in 2015

By Dave Quinn
April 10, 2019 09:19 AM
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Rashida Jones looked back at her time on Parks and Recreation on Tuesday as the NBC series celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The 43-year-old actress — who played nurse Ann Perkins, the best friend to Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope — shared memories of her time on the beloved sitcom in a candid Instagram post.

“Ten years ago today, the first episode of @nbcparksandrec aired,” she wrote, captioning a photo of herself and Poehler on the show. “And thus began the most magical seven years of my professional life playing Ann Perkins and working with kind, hilarious, and talented people that I still call friends.”

She went on explain that many days on the Parks and Recreation set in season one were spent in fear, since the show wasn’t an immediate ratings success. Though the comedy — which premiered on April 9, 2009 — aired 125 episodes over seven seasons before coming to an end in 2015, that nervousness never settled.

Said Jones: “The cast, crew and writers spent a decent amount of time worrying about getting canceled, we nervously waited for our (usually) very low ratings mornings after we aired and, every season, we prayed that we would get picked up, even if it was just for six more. Because we loved it.”

Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, Jim O’Heir, Aziz Ansari in Parks and Recreation
| Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Of course, Jones wouldn’t change a thing. She boasted how that underdog status only bonded the Parks and Rec family even more.

“Needless to say, over time, many, many people have come to love the show with unexpected fervor. I don’t know if the series would have been what it was if we could’ve foreseen that,” Jones said. “Holding onto each other tight and treasuring every moment together was a huge part of what is on screen.”

“So grateful for this show, these people, this writing, this experience,” she said. “Happy 10th.”

Jones wasn’t the only one honoring Parks and Rec‘s anniversary on Tuesday. Her costars Poehler and Nick Offerman shared a video message on the show’s official social media accounts, thanking fans for standing by the sitcom through the years.

“Citizens of Pawnee, thank you for spending 10 years of your life with us — sharing your laughter, your tears, and even your waffles,” Poehler, 47, joked.

“We love you and we can’t thank you enough for your support,” Offerman, 48, added.

Poehler and Offerman were speaking from the set of their NBC reality competition series Making It, which challenges a group of artisan craftsmen and women to make a variety of projects to win the title of “Master Maker” and a $100,000 grand prize.

Last May, while promoting the show, Poehler and Offerman both told Ellen DeGeneres that they would jump at the chance for a Parks and Rec reboot — but only if Beyoncé joined the cast. “We said if Beyoncé will play the mayor, we’ll bring the show back,” Offerman joked.

Kidding aside, Poehler seemed game to return. “I’ll speak for everybody and say we would all do it,” she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I think we would all do it someday. It would be amazing.”

The cast of Parks and Recreation
| Credit: Michael Bulbenko for The Paley Center for Media
The cast of Parks and Recreation
| Credit: JB Lacroix/Getty Images

Just last month, Poehler, Offerman, and Jones reunited with fellow cast members Rob Lowe, Retta, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, and Jim O’Heir — as well as series co-creator and scribe Michael Shur — for a special panel at the Paley Center for Media’s 2019 PaleyFest LA.