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Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Photo Credit:  Mitchell Haaseth / NBC
  • Premiered: 
    April 9, 2009
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: NBC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Comedy (Sitcom)
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Created by Greg Daniels & Michael Schur 
  • Subject Matter: Workplace
  • Tags: faux cinema verite

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  • Complete Series
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  • Season 1
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  • Season 2
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  • Season 3
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  • Season 4
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  • Season 5
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  • Season 6
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  • Season 7
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    Season 1
    Season 2

Plot Synopsis

PARKS AND RECREATION is a mockumentary about the inner workings of local government, and this series focuses on Leslie Knope of the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. Leslie is a mid-level bureaucrat who dreams of someday becoming the first female President of the United States. To achieve this dream, she realizes she has to advance her career; so in the first season she worked with resident Ann Perkins on a project to turn an abandoned construction pit into a community park. As they navigated the Pawnee bureaucracy and became best friends, they enlisted the help of Leslie's colleagues: Tom Haverford, a fashion-obsessed wannabe player whose greatest dream is to own his own nightclub; Leslie's boss Ron Swanson, who hates the very government he works for; the city planner Mark Brendanawicz, who obsessed after Leslie, later dated Ann, and left the department after being dumped by Ann; April, a college intern who stayed on as Ron's sullen assistant, eventually marrying Andy Dwyer; Andy Dwyer, a shoeshine boy extraordinaire, who was dating Ann when he broke both of his legs in the construction pit but later married April; Donna Meagle, the fun-loving co-worker who takes advantage of her seniority, often being the only worker to talk back to boss Ron Swanson; and Jerry Gergich, who is the department's punching bag. In the final episode of Season 2, Indiana state auditors Chris Traeger and Ben Wyatt arrived to help Pawnee solve its financial crisis. Chris, a health nut who wants to live to be 150 years old, took a job as the acting city manager of Pawnee, and briefly dated Ann. Ben, who bankrupted a small Minnesota town as its 18-year-old mayor, stayed at Pawnee to continue working with Chris, and began dating Leslie in defiance of Chris' policy against workplace romance. When Leslie decided to run for city council, she and Ben broke off their relationship and her served as her campaign manager. Plus, she hired Andy to be her assistant and April eventually takes Leslie's old job. After Leslie won the election in the Season 4 finale, Ben accepted a job offer in Washington, DC.

Season 5 opened with Leslie and Andy visiting Ben and April and their new jobs, but Ben and Leslie were soon reunited, engaged, and married. Meanwhile, Ron dated Diane, and now they're expecting a child together, and April was accepted to veterinary school after serving as Pawnee's Deputy Director of Animal Control.

Season 6 debuted with a two-part premiere on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 8pm ET/PT, as Leslie, Ben, Andy, April, and Ron went to London after she won an award from an international Women in Government organization. Meanwhile back in Pawnee, Tom tried hunting down the mysterious businessman trying to put Rent-a-Swag out of business, while Ann and Chris settled into the next phase of their relationship.

PARKS AND RECREATION returned for its seventh and final season on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 8pm ET/PT, with NBC airing back-to-back new episodes each week for seven weeks until the hourlong series finale on February 24. In the season opener, "2017," Leslie launches a competition with tech company Gryzzl for a large parcel of land, which she wants to turn into a National Park. April and Andy try to regain their spontaneity. Ben is recognized at a Bicentennial gala, where Tom delivers a speech in his honor. Then in "Ron and Jammy," the premiere night's second episode, Leslie and Ron briefly put aside their feud to help old foe Jeremy Jamm escape the clutches of the diabolical Tammy 2. Ben vows to help April discover her true passion in life, while Andy and Tom travel to Chicago.
On Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 8:30pm ET/PT, NBC premiered a half-hour PARKS AND RECREATION special, immediately following a half-hour Paley Center special (8pm) about the series.

In the 30-minute "A Parks and Recreation Special," all of the original characters from the series return and, in addition, several guest stars from the Pawnee universe may pop in. The story comes from the events of the day -- Pawnee's most dedicated civil servant, Leslie Knope, is determined to stay connected to her friends in a time of social distancing.

"There has been an incredible response since we announced the all-new 'A Parks and Recreation Special' and that's truly a tribute to what this show means to people," said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs, NBC Entertainment. "It's a testament to the cast and producers that 'Parks' remains such a touchstone and beloved comedy for its millions of fans around the world."

"For seven seasons, television viewers could not get enough of Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson and the rest of the team from the Pawnee, Ind., Parks and Recreation department," said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center's President & CEO. "We're thrilled to partner with NBC to present this behind-the-scenes look at the revered series." The Paley Center telecast (8pm) highlights many of the show's most memorable moments as well as all that went on behind the scenes. The series, which ran from 2009-15, starred Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O'Heir, and Retta.

Both NBC's original "A Parks and Recreation Special," which airs April 30 at 8:30pm, and "The Paley Center Salutes Parks and Recreation" will be available beginning Friday, May 1 on Peacock, NBCUniversal's new streaming service. In addition to Peacock, "The Paley Center Salutes Parks and Recreation" will also be available on demand on Hulu and NBC App, MVPD's and streaming on NBC App.

PARKS AND RECREATION is the recipient of a Peabody Award for excellence in television programming, an AFI honor as one of the Top 10 Television Shows of the Year, several Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series and Amy Poehler's individual performance. Poehler won a Golden Globe Award in 2014.

Additional accolades include Writers Guild Award and Producers Guild Award nominations, 2010 GLAAD Award for Outstanding Individual Episode, 2013 Television Critics Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy and TCA nominations for Program of the Year and Individual Achievement in Comedy for Poehler and co-star Nick Offerman, which Offerman won, as well as NAACP Image Award and Imagen Award nominations.

In 2019, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the series premiere, the Paley Center honored the cast and creative team at their annual television festival PaleyFest LA, which took place in front of a sold-out audience at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. For the first time ever, this program together with past PARKS AND RECREATION PaleyFest LA appearances from 2011, 2012, and 2014 are now available for viewing as part of the Paley@Home series on the Paley Center's YouTube channel.


Other Titles

  • Previously known as Public Service

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Deedle-Dee Productions
  • Produced by Universal Media Studios


  • - Pawnee, Indiana USA

Births, Deaths & Weddings

  • April 14, 2011: April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer are married
  • May 19, 2011: Li'l Sebastian dies
  • February 21, 2013: Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt are married
  • February 3, 2015: Donna Meagle and Joe are married