May 11, 2014 9:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
It's Official: 'Parks and Recreation' to End With Season 7
It's official: NBC's Parks and Recreation's end is in sight.
The upcoming seventh season of the Amy Poehler comedy will be its last, NBC announced Saturday when the network released its 2014-15 schedule that featured the veteran comedy being benched for midseason. An exact episode count remains unclear.
"We have several of our strongest comedies by some of our best auspices being held for midseason, including the final season of Parks and Recreation," NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said in the release, which also announced the sixth and final season of drama Parenthood.
Parks and Recreation, the story of a small-town parks department and a woman with grand political aspirations and her rag-tag team, currently ranks as NBC's longest-running comedy. The show started as a midseason replacement and aside from season three, has always been a fall launch.
Parks jumped ahead three years during its season six finale, a move showrunner Mike Schur said was only done because he knew the end was near. "I'd say that the finish line is in sight at this point," Schur told The Hollywood Reporter after the April 24 season finale. "I don't want to say definitively but we've had a lot of internal discussions about it; we've talked to NBC a lot about it. The idea that we're nearing the end is part of what gave us the courage to do something like jumping ahead in time. We know we don't have to sustain it for five years. It's a move you do when you know that the show is nearing the end of its run."
The series, from Universal Television and Greg Daniels' Deedle Dee Productions, has served as a launchpad for its cast, which includes Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari and Rashida Jones. Jones -- along with Rob Lowe -- exited the series midway through its sixth season. Despite its lackluster ratings -- it's been a bubble series since launching as a midseason entry -- Parks has become a critical darling. The show took home an AFI Award as program of the year in 2012, and has been nominated as best comedy at the Golden Globes, with Poehler taking home the best actress prize once in three nominations. At the Emmys, Poehler is a four-time nominee, with the show also nominated in the best comedy and writing categories.
Beyond the show, NBC's Universal Television inked Poehler to a hefty three-year overall deal in January. Under the pact, she co-wrote comedy pilot Old Soul, loosely based on the life of star Natasha Lyonne.
For Schur's part, the producer will have two series on the air next season: the final season of Parks and Recreation and Fox's Universal Television-produced Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which will return for its second season.