‘Parks & Rec’ on hiatus

Much like the actual government, the town of Pawnee, Ind. has shut down temporarily. 

The NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” has gone through a scheduling shake up. The show usually aired weekly on Thursday nights at 8:30 p.m. However, it was announced on Oct. 18 that the show would only air episodes on Nov. 14 and Nov. 21, according to Rolling Stone magazine. On both of those nights, two episodes will be airing consecutively.

Many people speculated that the “hiatus” was an indication that the sitcom, which is in its sixth season, was going to get cancelled. However, Adam Scott, one of the stars of the show who plays Ben Wyatt, took to Twitter to reassure fans that that was not the case.

“Parks & Rec fans don’t worry, that Vulture article is misleading--we are not on ‘hiatus’ at all,” tweeted Scott. “[We] will still air the same amount of episodes before [Christmas] as last year, & weren’t scheduled to air new [episodes] in December anyway.”

The Thursday night slots that “Parks and Recreation” would have normally taken up were filled with episodes of “The Voice,” a “Saturday Night Live” Halloween clip show, football games, “The Sing-Off” and a live broadcast of NBC’s “The Sound of Music.”

The website Vulture.com believes that NBC changed the schedule in an effort to get people to watch the new show “Sean Saves the World,” which airs at 9 p.m. They think the special shows will encourage people to watch that time slot.

Season six of “Parks and Recreation” has brought some other changes to the show. Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe, who play Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger, will be leaving towards the middle of the season, according to the Huffington Post. 

“We had the idea creatively to sort of move in that direction,” said executive producer Mike Schur. “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.”

Chris Pratt, who plays Andy Dwyer, also hasn’t been in the entire season. The premiere took place in London, because Pratt was filming Marvel’s upcoming movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” there. He appeared in an episode earlier in the season, but he won’t return as a regular cast member until episode 10.

The first seven episodes of season six that have aired so far have been filled with excitement, drama, and changes for the Parks and Rec employees. 

As stated before, Jones and Lowe will no longer be regulars on the show. Ann decided that she wants to have a baby with Chris. They’ve rekindled their relationship and have decided to move away from Pawnee, which is how their exit has been written into the show. This change was bound to affect Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler.

Knope, the overly enthusiastic councilwoman, didn’t take the news of Ann’s departure well. Her character has been dealing with a lot of changes. Her best friend, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), married his girlfriend in an impromptu ceremony at the town’s municipal building. Her husband also started a new job running a non-profit.

While all of this is going on, she also has had to deal with a recall election. A fellow council member spearheaded a campaign to remove Knope from her position. This has kept her campaign team and the Parks and Recreation employees busy.

Sarcastic former intern April Ludgate, played by Aubrey Plaza, has been working harder since Andy moved to London to work for a non-profit. She briefly thought about going to veterinary school, which Ann encouraged her to do.

As for the department’s employees, they’ve been moving down different roads as well. Jerry has come out of retirement, April is thinking about veterinary school, and Tom has been dealing with the possibility of losing his business, Rent-A-Swag.

“Parks and Recreation” will next air on NBC on Nov. 21 at 8 p.m.