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NBC renews 'Parks and Rec' for third season

Early pickup was done solely for production reasons

NBC has renewed "Parks and Recreation" for a third season.

The early pickup was done strictly for production reasons to lock in actors' schedules, a rep for NBC said, stressing that the sole pickup for the sophomore comedy in no means reflects on the renewal chances of NBC's other Thursday comedies.

Indeed, "The Office," "30 Rock" and freshman "Community," which pull higher ratings than "Parks," all look good to return for another season.

After a soft start as a midseason entry last spring, "Parks," which stars Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari, has been gaining steam this season creatively and ratings-wise.

Season to date, "Parks" has averaged a 2.3 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers overall, retaining 95% or more of its 18-49 lead-in with original telecasts.

The series also ranks among the top 15 primetime shows on the major networks in upscale 18-49 viewership.