"Parks and Recreation" end date may have been set. Executive producer Michael Schur addresses speculations that the show will likely end after seven seasons, explaining why the next season will be the right time to wrap up the comedy series.
"It's fairly likely that next year will be the last," he tells Entertainment Weekly. "The natural rhythm of the show and the big creative jump we take at the end of this season certainly suggests that we're moving in that direction."
The "creative jump" Schur mentions in the interview refers to [SPOILER ALERT!] the three-year flash forward in the sixth season finale. In the one-hour episode aired on April 24, Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope takes the job in the National Parks office, which has been moved from Chicago to Pawnee, and has 3-year-old triplets with Ben.
Sharing his plans for the possible final season, Schur says the upcoming installment will fill the gap in between the three-year period. "The majority of the season is going to take place in that time period, and that is allowing for certainly the possibility of episodes that fill in certain gaps that go back in time a little bit," he reveals.
He adds, "But we're not going to see Leslie pregnant for the whole year, we're not going to see her give birth. The whole season is not going to be about filling in those gaps - the main action of the season will take place in that slightly futurescape. We may go back and see a couple of things here and there of what happened in the interim, but we're not faking you out."
The season 6 finale also featured a nice surprise with Jon Hamm making a cameo as an incompetent employee named Ed whom Leslie just fired. To TV Guide, Schur says that the scene was important because it showed that in 2017 Leslie's still a very empathetic person she had been despite now having a more important job.
"It was important to us in that moment when she fires Jon Hamm," he says. "But he says, 'Thank you for the literally hundreds of opportunities you've given me.' It was important to us that he say something like that because you don't want to think that she's become some kind of callous, unfeeling person who just runs around firing people. She hired this guy, he was a total screw up, she gave him so many chances to improve himself and she finally hit her breaking point. It was important to us to know that she hadn't changed the essence of who she was."
NBC has renewed "Parks and Rec" for a seventh season that is expected to premiere in the fall.