Parks and Recreation Shocker! Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe to Exit NBC Comedy In Season 6

Rob Lowe Rashida Jones Leaving Parks And RecreationIn literally shocking news, Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger are leaving Pawnee.

Parks and Recreation staples Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe will depart the critical darling in its sixth season, sources confirm to TVLine.

As first reported by Buzzfeed, the pair will leave in the February sweeps-timed 13th episode of the NBC comedy’s upcoming run.

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No reason for the duo’s departure has been given, but it’s safe to assume their characters will be written off the canvas together: As executive producer Mike Schur notes in a statement, Ann and Chris are currently in the process of having a baby.

“The news about Rob and Rashida is true — they will be leaving the show after the 13th episode of the upcoming season six,” Mike Schur says. ” We’ve been working on their storyline (on and off) for four seasons now, and heading into this year, with the two of them contemplating parenthood, it felt like a natural time to move them into the next phase.

“We absolutely love both Rashida and Rob, and will be sad to see them go.  Rashida was one of the very first people we knew we wanted in the cast, and as important as Ann is to Leslie (and vice-versa), she’ll certainly never be far from Pawnee.  Rob we initially thought we could only have for six or eight episodes, and we couldn’t be happier that he will have stuck around for 75.”

Schur continues, “They are wonderful, funny, committed actors, they’ve been a huge part of the Parks and Rec family, and we think we have a great Pawnee send-off in the works for them.”

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This isn’t the first time Lowe has left a series before the end of its run. The actor famously walked away from The West Wing during Season 4, on the heels of a salary dispute/decreased airtime. (“It has been increasingly clear, for quite a while, that there was no longer a place for Sam Seaborn on The West Wing,” he said in a statement at the time.)

Jones has been part of Parks since its April 2009 debut, while Lowe came aboard the sitcom in the final leg of Season 2.

Parks and Recreation‘s London-set, hour-long premiere airs Sept. 26.

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122 Comments
  1. Sarah says:

    WHAT??!?!?!?! Parks and Rec without Ann Perkins just seems wrong – Lesley Knope needs her best friend! And Chris Traeger is Lit-ruhly one of the most entertaining neurotically happy characters ever made… sad :( At least

    • Elly says:

      That was my first thought too but if you really think about it, they are probably the least funny ones on the show. Leslie will be fine. It’s a strong cast.

      • aryn says:

        Just not cool!!! I can’t imagine Parks without BFF Ann around for Leslie and her hair-brained adventures, but that’s being selfish. In real life people do move, so it’ll be interesting how Leslie handles not having Ann in her back pocket :) Will totally miss Ann & Chris, loved their hospital scenes, was cute that he was a hypochondriac and she was a nurse always covered with germs. Maybe we can bring in a Happy Endings cast member to stir things up !!!

      • Mel says:

        Everyone can’t be “the most funny.” You need straight men/women, like Ann. I suppose Leslie will find a new bestie, but frankly, I can’t think of anyone better than Ann. I am bummed. Regarding Rob’s character, Chris – I’m not that broken up about him leaving. I like him, but sometimes his shtick just didn’t work for me.

        • Elly says:

          Agree, Chris I’m like “eh, whatever” but Ann is a bummer only for Lesile storylines. But everyone else is so funny, I’m just not that worried.

  2. ggny says:

    Wtf? I get Rob Lowe leaving but how the heck does the show go on without Ann?

    • Patrick says:

      Does this not signify that PandR is in its last season? I have to think this is the last season.

      • ben says:

        I don’t think we can assume it signifiies that. Amy Poehler leaving would do that, but this pair leaving could be handled well and not in a way which destroys the show.

      • CR says:

        I would say the showrunners trimming down the cast would make the show more economically viable for a 7th season.

      • aryn says:

        Nah, I think it’ll end after season 7…would be too soon to wrap everything up this season. Maybe just a 1/2 season next year like 30 Rock did? I’m already missing the show just thinking about it!

  3. I am so bummed about this, but I’m at least optimistic that their characters might be leaving together as a cute little family. And who knows, maybe if they have some time in their busy schedules they will be willing to pop in every now and again. :)

  4. Sam says:

    This sucks so much, I love them both. I’m not sure what Parks will be without either of them.

  5. Sam says:

    Okay, so they’re not the most important characters on the show, but they do add a lot to the dynamic. Sad to see them go.

  6. Ella says:

    This is literally the saddest news I have heard all day….

  7. bluto18 says:

    As much as I’d hate to see them go, their departures would have the least effect on the dynamic of the show. Now if Chris Pratt or Nick Offerman were to leave, that would be a problem.

    • CR says:

      If they Andy or Ron left, I couldn’t imagine watching the show anymore, heck I’ll throw in Tom to that list. While this news is upsetting, I will miss Ann much more than Chris. At least them leaving together means that they can’t write them off with a happy ending for their prospective family. I just can’t imagine how Leslie will be without her beautiful perfect wonderful Ann.

      • Leah says:

        Agree. While I HATE THIS…if I had been able to choose which two characters to lose, it would’ve been these two. It’ll be rough…but I’m sure that Parks can handle this.

      • M3rc Nate says:

        Totally agree. They arent KEY to the show IMO, but i do love them both (Chris/Ann). I’d say like everyone else, the biggest thing that will feel weird is they made such a sisterhood/awesome bond/friendship between Leslie and Ann…that i think i will miss most.

  8. No says:

    Why? This makes no sense. Rashida adds a lot to the show, and Rob is hilarious on it. I guess Rashida wants to focus on movies, but why would Rob want to leave?

    • ben says:

      Rob always leaves.

      • Alex says:

        I’d love to see a series staring Lowe and Mandy Patinkin, then place bets as to who leaves first…

      • Belle says:

        Rob doesn’t leave by choice, in the past he’s been forced out in such an unprofessional way…at least the Parks PTB are giving he and Ann a happy ending of going off to help another fledgling city and start a family too :) BFF’s move all the time, that’s why there are phones and texting, Skype, and Facebook – Leslie could technically “talk” to Ann daily even after she moves…life doesn’t stop because you’re bestie moves, you just try harder to remain friends :)

  9. Eric says:

    Rob Lowe also left Brothers & Sisters before its end as well. Wasn’t it because he felt he wasn’t being utilized enough in the series or something of that sort? Rob clearly has a problem with leaving TV series. haha

    I don’t care about Rob leaving, but how can you have Parks & Rec without Ann Perkins? That’s just wrong.

    • Nat says:

      That was my first thought too, even before the article talked about The West Wing. He was on B&S three and a half seasons, West Wing three and a half seasons, and now P&R the same. I’m starting to sense a pattern…

    • Belle says:

      PEOPLE LISTEN – Rob was forced out of The West Wing, and put on the back-burned on B&S’s so much so that he wasn’t even counted as a full time cast member!! Do your research before you bash people, he’d stay on Parks if they’d let him and I do know this for a fact so don’t go off and rant about my post. Just sayin.

    • TBMeow says:

      I don’t see the big deal of an actor leaving a show. They start with a show, enter in the midst of the run, leave before the end, or stay to the end. It doesn’t make them bad people for any of those choices. I don’t get it. Don’t we all do that on some level in our own jobs for a variety of reasons?
      For Rob Lowe West Wing was the most controversial. And we’ll probably never know the full story there. The show did go downhill after RL left. And fans didn’t like that.
      Brothers & Sisters went downhill. Got so silly and Rob’s character didn’t make much sense any longer. (As an RL fan I was so glad he left as I could no longer take the show. Even with a great cast. The show just got silly.) I think it only lasted one more season. Definitely was on the downhill.
      P&R is a bit different. Schur has been very straightforward in explaining the exit. I think both these actors have a lot on their plates. Leaving a solid cast that will be fine. We get Lowe and Jones most of season 6. And it makes sense with their storyline good timing for an exit for these 2 characters. Ratings are shakey . . . I’d guess one more season at best if ratings don’t improve. They won’t this late in their run.
      Just my take on it all.

  10. Leah says:

    What!? This sucks! (Although, if I could’ve picked which two characters the show would lose…it would be these two.) I know the show will be fine, but I hate Leslie losing her bestie! Bring Jerry back! Man, I hate this.

  11. Josh says:

    Aww that makes me sad. I feel like Ann is a part of Leslie and Chris is a part of Ben, it’s to sad think of the show without them. Without Ann it would be weird to lose the normal person in the group.

  12. Lecholls says:

    This is just really sad news. I’ll miss them.

  13. yvette says:

    Im going to cry now.

  14. Tim says:

    I thought when they added Rob Lowe it wouldn’t be long term but I just don’t see how they can cut out Ann Perkins from the show. I mean obviously they weren’t planning it but why not just have decreased screen time?

  15. Babygate says:

    I can say that ep 13 will be the last P&R I watch. I like Chris, but I love Ann. There is no P&R without Ann. She’s the yin to Leslie’s yang. She’s like the only sane voice of reason in the whole joint. With perhaps the exception of Ben. I guess I can understand if they wanted to leave since there probably wouldn’t be a S7 anyways, but to leave before the series is over is just wrong. Now I won’t be able to really enjoy whatever I get to watch of S6, :-(

  16. Jayjay says:

    Are we sure there’s even going to be a 7th season? Too bad they couldn’t stick it out to the end of the year.

  17. I will miss Anne Perkins dearly but Chris has been really grinding my gears for a while now.

  18. Leah says:

    GOSH. Donald Glover leaves Community, these two leave Parks…who is going to break my heart next? I’ll really miss these two, but not as much as Leslie will miss Ann! How do they handle that? Silver lining: At least it wasn’t Nick Offerman or another character I love more…and I’m sure the writers can handle this. But…it still sucks. Rob Lowe leaving shouldn’t be a huge shocker, but I’m really surprised that Rashida is.

  19. Rob says:

    This is literally the saddest news that has ever happened or will ever happen in the history of the world.

  20. amelia says:

    What???

  21. knd says:

    Nooooooo!!!!!

  22. StupidPeopleShutUp says:

    Seriously, get over yourselves. It’s a show. It will survive. They’ll recast her. Jesus, get a grip.

  23. Gertrude says:

    It might be a budgetary thing.

    If it’s a creative issue… well, Rob’s character is pretty one-note, I can see how he’d be bored of doing it. And Ann has never really been funny, the writers might be tired of trying to come up with things for her.

    • Scott Brecht says:

      I agree with both. Ann has kinda sucked since season one. I miss Mark more than a will miss either of these two characters. The interactions between Leslie and April are A LOT funnier than aything with Ann. I love Rob Lowe, but his character was already played out after 1 season. Maybe Louie CK could come back to help fill the void…wishful thinking….i know.

  24. Kay says:

    Good riddance to Rob Lowe. A liitle sad to see Rashida go, but it seems like Ann hasn’t had much to do the past couple of seasons, and I can’t stand the Ann/Chris romance.

  25. Nabil says:

    WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? This is LITERALLY so sad and will be a HUGE blow to a Fantastic show! They are two of the funniest characters on the show and the show will not be as funny without them!

  26. Adam says:

    I’m sad but also annoyed with Rob Lowe. He left West Wing early, he left Brothers & Sisters early, and now he’s leaving Parks and Recreation early. I wish he’d see something through to the end.

  27. Carm says:

    I hate this!!! Will miss Ann so much.

  28. Sandra says:

    Chris can go no problem but not beautiful Ann. I love her and Leslie’s friendship.

  29. Lauren says:

    I literally yelled “Noooooo!” when I saw this headline.

  30. Jess says:

    Well this calls for an emergency session with Dr. Richard Nygard. :(

  31. Superhero says:

    Well, that’s a bit of a shock, but not one that I’m too broken up about. As others have said, they’re probably the two least important characters to the show’s creative success. This will give Schur and company the chance to create some new characters; Paul Schneider left earlier in the show’s run, and he was essentially replaced by Adam Scott, who wound up playing a much better character. So all in all, this isn’t the end of the world.

  32. Kenny says:

    I’m going to cry….

  33. Tom Charles says:

    Won’t be the same show without Ann Perkins!

  34. CatieC says:

    DAMN!!! What’s Leslie gonna do?!

  35. John says:

    I must be the only one who will miss Chris more than Ann. Ann was always kind of a dull character, often utilized as Lesley’s jumping off point. Chris had a really unique energy and perspective I will miss a lot more.

    • Michelle says:

      Not the only one! I like Rashida Jones, but I find Ann to be the blandest and most boring character on the show. I know others disagree, but although I’m sad Leslie won’t have her BFF around, I don’t think it will hurt the show.

    • Laura says:

      Yeah, definitely not alone! I thought Rob Lowe’s character was going to annoy the crap out of me when he first joined. Yet, I quickly found myself amazed at how much comedic talent RL possesses. Chris is a wonderfully neurotic, but happy character that I often what to simultaneously want to shake (for his liberal use of “literally”) and hug. I haven’t felt that way about a character since Niles Crane on “Fraiser.”

  36. Joey says:

    Sad about this. I’ll miss them on the show. Their characters are great.

  37. Kre says:

    Don’t tell Leslie her BFF is leaving. I will LITERALLY miss Chris Traeger and Ann Perkins *Chris Traeger voice*

  38. Louise says:

    To me, the character of Ann Perkins is incredibly boring. I recently rewatched The Office Season 3 and remembered how much I used to like Rashida Jones. More Donna, please!

  39. Maggie says:

    Rob Lowe never seems to stick around. Maybe he gets bored and needs new challenges? I wasn’t expecting that he would do well on P&R, because he usually does drama. But he proved he can do comedy just as well as he does drama.

  40. Austin says:

    I haven’t been this sad since Steve Carrell didn’t win the Emmy for his last season. This is crazy. I’m just so angry right now. This should NOT happen. :S We need Ann/Chris. They are an amazing part of the amazing ensemble. I’m just so sad.

  41. James D says:

    wow that’s too bad, Rob Lowe was fantastic as Chris and he will be sorely missed on this show, it’s going to hurt the ratings. not as much as if Nick Offermen left but it will be effected. I sort of saw Rashida Jones departure coming however, Ann was pushed to a lesser role last season IMO and she probably thinks its time to cut and run. what a shame.

  42. CJ says:

    Omg what will Leslie Knope do without her beautiful tropical fish of a best friend?! This is literally the saddest thing ever!

    • tripoli says:

      I’m really going to miss all of Leslie’s weird and wonderful comments about Ann. That beautiful, newborn baby.

  43. Lagando says:

    Good riddance. Ann has always been boring and never really meshed with the rest if the charachters, same goes for Chris. Easily the worst characters on the shiw.

  44. Babybop says:

    I’m just… sad.

  45. Grilled_Cheesus. says:

    I can see the broad leaving since she’s long in the tooth and losing her looks and brings nothing to the table by Chris man that one is going to hurt. After the godly Ron Swanson he’s the best thing on that show.

  46. Craig says:

    Good Lord, I’m beginning to think that Rob Lowe and Mandy Patinkin should co-star in a series with Vegas taking odds on who exits first….

  47. Lorie says:

    Dang! I’ll miss them.

  48. megs says:

    Now they need to make ben schwartz/jean-ralphio a regular, and get another awesome funny female…casey wilson would be an excellent choice….

    • Maya says:

      If only :( The actor is a regular on House of Lies so they have to work around his schedule on that show just to get him in a few episodes.

  49. Mustafa says:

    Does this mean more Donna???

  50. A says:

    YES, FINALLY!!!!!!! I absolutely despise Rob Lowe’s character. I can’t stand Chris Traeger with a passion. To me, he is the worst character on the show and I have been waiting for a long time for them to get rid of the character. I could do without Ben as well. He’s just boring. Rashida leaving is pretty meh. She was just okay.
    For me, as long as Donna, Leslie, Ron, Andy, April, Jerry and Tom stay, that’s all I need.

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