Our very own Michael Ausiello was on hand to moderate the festivities and he got to the bottom of eight spoilery Pawnee plot-points — plus the real deal with all that Rob Lowe/Charlie Sheen talk.
First thing’s first: Showrunner Mike Schur laughed off baseless rumors that Lowe would be leaving Parks for Two and a Half Men. Initially, he teased that several other Pawnee stars were joining new shows too, Hawaii Five-0 included, but later in the program Schur explained that Lowe — who had to skip the panel because he was on the East Coast looking at colleges with his children — is a full-time castmember and will remain such for many years to come.
Now onto the real Parks and Recreation scoop:
Leslie Knope, Superstar | When the upcoming Harvest Festival proves to me a major success, Leslie Knope becomes the local celeb she’d always hoped to be. Schur said that after Parks‘ seventh episode, we’ll get to see what happens when someone’s level of importance is raised in politics — Translation: Leslie is now a hot commodity and no longer a Pawnee wannabe. Bonus scoop: When the day comes that we finally meet the mayor of Pawnee, Amy Poehler hopes he’ll be played by Bill Murray.
Benslie’s Slow Start | In addition to her newfound fame, Leslie will finally start to break ground in her little romance with Ben (Adam Scott). Schur shares that after the festival madness dies down, Leslie starts to pick up on the feelings Ben may have for her, and vice versa. Poehler and the Parks cast would still love to see Louis C.K.’s Officer Dave return, but that’s not in the cards just yet.
Tom Haverford Finds Success | For those hoping Aziz Ansari’s lovable, partial-womanizer finds success in one of his many entrepreneurial ventures, you’re not alone. “Eventually one of Tom’s inventions will hit — in Season 9!” joked Schur. But there’s still more awesomeness ahead, particularly Tom’s journey into producing a dating show (Know Your Boo) and developing a new beverage (Snake Juice).
Ron Swanson’s Sexy Talk | When Nick Offerman’s real-life wife Megan Mullally heads back to Pawnee as Ron’s evil ex-Tammy, what might we see? “Full penetration,” Offerman deadpanned. “There’s only so much foreplay a fella can take.” The mustached man also offered a glimpse into what might be the happiest marriage in town, calling Mullally a “comedic genius” and gushing about the days he’d spend on the Will & Grace set wanting to work with his wife “when I’m all grown up.”
Andy & April are Sorta Sweethearts | These two lovebirds are just “a couple of young people” trying to make their way, says Schur. Look for an extra-special moment between the two in “Harvest Festival,” but from there on out, Andy (Chris Pratt) and April (Aubrey Plaza) are “on a roller coaster.” Also along for the ride in upcoming episodes are all five of Andy’s brothers and April’s equally non-emotive sister.
Ann Perkins Is a Slut | Poehler’s words, not ours. Following her breakup with Chris (Rob Lowe), Rashida Jones says that dating is “not really her main focus right now. Amy’s right — she is kind of a slut.” Schur also revealed that Ann will finally loosen up and just have some fun.
Renewal, Schmenewal | Parks and Recreation has yet to receive a fourth season pickup, but Poehler said it simply and best: “I think this is the beginning of us being around for a long time.”
Michael Ausiello’s Stellar Mod-Job | Huge kudos, thumbs up, hugs, bravos, cheers and congrats to TVLine’s fearless leader Michael Ausiello for a moderating-job well done. It was a mutual lovefest onstage between Ausiello and the Parks cast, which made for a fun, easygoing PaleyFest panel. And through it all our guy was still able to do what he does best — get the scoop!
Are you pumped about what Parks and Recreation has in store later this season and beyond? Sound off in the comments!