Parks and Recreation, which ran on NBC for seven seasons from 2009 to 2015, is one of the most beloved sitcoms in recent memory. TV critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz ranked it among the 50 greatest shows of all time in 2016, it is consistently one of Netflix’s most-watched non-originals. Fans still quote it frequently to this day. So given the blast-from-the-past landscape of television these days in which previous titles are being rebooted and revived all the time, how likely is it that audiences will ever see a Parks and Rec comeback?
On Thursday night, creators Michael Schur and Greg Daniels as well as the main cast members were asked about that very topic at the PaleyFest Panel. While the sentiment was positive, the logistics sound like a challenge.
“Everyone on this stage—and like six other people—would have to feel like there was a story that needed to be told,” Schur said on the panel (per THR). To that end, Schur explained he felt as if the original accomplished what it set out to do.
“The show had an argument to make,” Schur said. “The argument was about teamwork and friendship and positivity, being optimistic and not getting cynical and believing that people can do good and believing in the power of public service and believing that if you work hard and you put your head down and believe in the people around you who are part of your team, that good things are possible. That you’ll achieve the things you want to achieve, and I don’t feel like we left anything on the table. I feel like the show sort of made its argument. And we also—maybe this was like a preventative measure or something—we did jump ahead to the year, like, 2074.”
In the series finale, the show flashed forward to show the future lives of the main characters, eliminating some of the mystery a revival would carry. But for what it’s worth, star Amy Poehler told THR she’s ready to jump back into the fray if Schur, who is currently busy showrunning The Good Place, will return.
“I am so not cool, so from minute one I’ve been like, I’m down. Tell me where to go, I’ll clear my schedule,” she said. “I mean, Mike Schur currently produces and writes on, I think, 14 shows, so it’ll really be whenever he is ‘tech avail,’ as we like to say in the biz. But yeah, I’m ready.”
Parks and Recreation was never a huge hit in the ratings and spent most of its lifespan in the cancellation bubble. But the show found a second life off-air thanks to Netflix and syndication. Surely a revival would be an attention-grabbing offering on, say, NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service?