I Have Cried Twice In My Life: Once When I Was Seven And I Was Hit By A School Bus, And Then Again When I Heard That Parks And Rec Was Ending
After months of uncertainty (NBC: let's wing it!), an official airdate for Parks and Recreation's final season has been announced. The last 13 episodes will begin airing on Tuesday, the 13th of January, and conclude the 24th of February. That is a month and a half, during which time they will burn off the final season an hour at a time, between 8 and 9. Those are also Tuesday nights, which is a change from the Thursday night it has inhabited for its entire run (NBC: consistency?). I certainly won't complain about 7 weeks of hour long Parks' episodes, as there is something very British about that schedule, which I appreciate.
NBC has never enjoyed having the show on the schedule, a hold over from that period where shows like 30 Rock had the gall to be both funny and clever rather than just inane. As the writers would tell you, having to structure each season finale as though it were the series finale because NBC would hem and haw over renewal, and ultimately give it another season in the summer because they had nothing else to fill in the gaps. Despite the series bringing to prominence Rashida Jones (who is currently writing the fourth Toy Story film for Pixar, as well as returning to Parks with Rob Lowe for at least one appearance this season) the glory that is Nick Offerman, and current (and future) box office golden boy Chris Pratt, NBC appears aggressively apathetic towards feedings off any of that auxiliary success (NBC: who needs to be popular when you're massively unsuccessful).
Yes, this is the seventh season of a show that probably shouldn't have ever gotten to three, and by sheer guile, wit and luck has managed to survive this long, and they should be happy for whatever they get. But, it is also the seventh season of a show that NBC should be treating with more respect than a freshman series they are contractually obligated to air in a rush in the blind spot of the television season.
To the cast and crew of Parks and Rec, I wish all the best. And NBC, I have a message for you after the jump.