Parks and Recreation: Shaking Things Up for the Final Season

Parks and Recreation
Colleen Hayes/NBC
Parks and Recreation

The end is near! After finishing Season 6 with a three-year time jump, Parks and Rec is back for its seventh and final season, set entirely in 2017. Executive producer Michael Schur explains that the leap ahead was done “to shake things up” as the show prepared to wind down. “Everyone is a little older and wiser,” he says of the Pawnee posse of the future, but don’t expect to see hoverboards. “We felt like the fans have invested [so much time] into this set of characters, and we want the stories to be about them,” he says. “There are no massive, seismic shifts. No one is unrecognizable; the couples are all still together. There have been no splits or divorces.”

Despite taking place a few years in the future, the new season, Schur promises, will rely on Parks‘ past for its main plot. In the opener, Leslie (Amy Poehler)–who’s now a married mother of triplets in charge of the National Park Service’s Midwest region–will find herself faced with a challenge that Schur sees as a magnified callback to the series pilot. “Leslie is given the opportunity to do something for the town that would bring her all the way back to where she started,” he explains, “but in a way that befits her new job. She’s a more accomplished person than she was.”

In addition, Schur says that last season’s flash-forward–which featured April (Aubrey Plaza), Andy (Chris Pratt), and Leslie’s hubby, Ben (Adam Scott)–dropped some hints about who will be on the Team Knope payroll now that she’s got her dream job. “We were very specific in the people we showed in that scene and who we didn’t.” Wait, no Ron Swanson on staff? Knope, didn’t see that one coming.

Parks and Recreation, Tuesdays, 8/7c, NBC