Fall TV Preview

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.

Comments (122)

  • It was bound to happen with Rob Lowe since it seems he’s never satisfied on a show and keeps leaving and his character was eh, but Ann/Rashida Jones leaving? NNNNNNOOOOOO

    Comment by Kalee – July 31, 2013 04:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • :(

    Comment by Elyse – July 31, 2013 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rob Lowe never finishes a series

    Comment by Daniel – July 31, 2013 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He didn’t start with this series either. Actors are not obligated to stick around for whatever length of time the fans deem acceptable. Such a tired argument at this point.

      Comment by tripoli – August 1, 2013 07:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Couldn’t agree more.

        Comment by TBMeow – August 1, 2013 09:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rob Lowe really has issues with staying on TV shows.

    And to me during The West Wing issue he just came across as an immature jackass who was crying because he was no longer ever going to be the center of the show (liek he was planned to before series pickup).

    Comment by Midori – July 31, 2013 05:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’ve always been glad Sorkin & Co kept to their guns on West Wing. They decided the show needed a different creative direction and stuck with that decision even when Lowe complained. And its really tacky on Lowe’s part that he was upset because it turned into an ensemble show, instead of all about Sam.

      Comment by liz – July 31, 2013 06:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Exactly. In the begging the main people were going to be Sam and Mandy. He should be thankful he didn’t go to Mandyland.

        Then a few years later he wanted a raise above where everyone else was getting, and it was like 100,000 more an episode. They said they couldn’t do that and he had a fit.

        I like him as an actor, but he comes off as an egomaniac brat in real life. Did I miss him on West Wing? Sure, but I got over him being gone after a few episodes, and didn’t really miss him at all.

        Comment by Midori – July 31, 2013 09:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • They did write Mandy out pretty quickly lol (which I was kinda bummed about because I like Moira Kelly quite a bit) but Lowe should have been happy that they kept Sam longer than that. And it wasn’t like he was relegated to the sidelines or boring storylines. The point was that it was an ensemble and each of the main characters got great plots and had pretty much the same amount of screentime. Perhaps except for Sheen – but he played the President, I’d expect him to have “cooler” stuff to do.
          His hissy fit was ridiculous and ya, I did miss Sam when he left, but I thought the story they wrote him out on was actually fitting to the character. And I ended up liking Will a lot more than Sam and I dont think I would have like the Santos plot as much as I did if it had been with Sam instead of Josh (who was much better for it – cause he wanted to be Leo) so it worked out in the end lol.

          Comment by liz – August 1, 2013 07:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not sad to see Rob Lowe leave, but I will miss Rashida.

    Comment by Jon – July 31, 2013 05:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m not at all surprised that Rob Lowe is leaving. He left both The West Wing and Brothers & Sisters before their runs ended. I’m not too upset about his departure. I like Chris, but he’s not integral to the show. I am however quite surprised to see Rashida leaving. I assume she wants to work more on film and her production company, but I really hate to see her go. It’s difficult to imagine Parks and Rec without Leslie and Ann’s friendship.

    Comment by Kaitlyn – July 31, 2013 05:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not all-together surprised about Rob Lowe’s exit, as he has a tendency not to stick with tv shows for more than a few seasons but I’m sad to see him go. Chris is far from my favorite character and he lifts out rather easily but I still enjoyed him. Rashida’s exit is much worse, imo, as I can’t imagine Leslie without Ann. The Leslie-Ann friendship is a vital part of the show and I don’t know how the dynamic will work without Ann’s straight-woman to everyone else’s crazy. Perhaps they could bump Lucy Lawless up to series regular and have Diane fill in as the ‘normal’ one in this dysfunctional family.

    Comment by Lena – July 31, 2013 05:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I completely agree Lena. Rashida is the biggest surprise here, and I’m honestly surprised Rob stayed on for as long as he did. The Leslie-Ann relationship was sorely missing from season 5 and I hope they have time to make that up before Ann leaves.

      Comment by Spencer – July 31, 2013 06:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • From what I understand is that they want more Lucy Lawless, but between her other commitments and the fact that she lives in New Zealand, it’s hard for them to get more time with her. I would have hoped with her character having a made would mean more screen time with her, but the idea of Ron Swanson navigating the trials of parenthood alone would make for comedy gold. (By alone I don’t mean being a single father, just that he be the primary care giver).

      Comment by CR – July 31, 2013 07:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think the writers really messed up with Rob and Rashida’s characters the last few seasons and they really have no other choice. There just isn’t much left you can do with either character and with the shows ratings just being okay I’m sure the show was getting ready to get rid of some of the cast. These two were probably both paid fairly well and were more expendable than Amy, Nick, Adam, Aziz, Aubrey and Chris.

    Comment by Damien Roberts (@dam744) – July 31, 2013 06:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As the world’s biggest P&R fan (don’t test me on this), I can safely say that I am devastated. However, I think the show will continue to be strong and I truly believe their goodbye episode will be beautiful and touching. I’m glad to hear this is planned and not just the actors saying that they’ve ‘had enough’. They will be missed, but I have full faith in the show and writers. Come to think of it, I’m really surprised that Chris Pratt is still on board considering his rise to stardom, same with Aubrey.

    Comment by Spencer – July 31, 2013 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I also wouldn’t be surprised if they come back as guest stars, especially if this turns out to be the last season(hopefully not!!!!!!!!!!)

      Comment by Josh – July 31, 2013 08:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Has P&R been picked up for a full season or only 13 episodes?

        Comment by Midori – July 31, 2013 09:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Full season (thank God).

          Comment by Spencer – July 31, 2013 09:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s been said a million times, but I’m so sad to see Leslie lose her best friend. But she’ll have Ben to get her through it.

    I’m sure Chris is going to get a job offer somewhere and he and Ann will leave to raise their kid.

    Comment by Gina – July 31, 2013 06:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hollywood needs to stop casting Rob Lowe in tv shows. He *always* leaves after some hissy fit. West Wing, Brothers & Sisters, and now this. He’s unreliable, constantly leaving writers and fans in the dust.

    Comment by liz – July 31, 2013 06:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by Jaye – July 31, 2013 06:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Boo! :(

    Comment by Kellie – July 31, 2013 06:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Now that Ann won’t be there, I’m hoping they cast Maya Rudolph as Leslie’s new friend.

    Comment by Anna – July 31, 2013 07:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh my God. I am so sad to see Rashida go but this would be heaven! Or Tina. Tina is free now!

      Comment by Elizabeth – July 31, 2013 07:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why can’t Rob Lowe stay with one show till the end? He always ends up leaving before the final season such as West Wing, Brothers&Sisters, and now Parks&Recreation. Anyone seeing a pattern here? Is he difficult to work with or does he get bored easily?

    Comment by Allyson – July 31, 2013 07:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think he just gets bored. It’s understandable though. It would be hard to keep playing the same character over and over for so long, it takes a really dedicated person to do it and even then it can get rough. The whole point of acting is to bust out and try new parts and experiment with crazy characters, and being set in a tv show with the same basic character for so many years can get really hum-drum on any actor. I completely understand his decision.

      Comment by Spencer – July 31, 2013 10:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So it’s been confirmed it’s a creative decision :(.

    Comment by Josh – July 31, 2013 08:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m glad they’ll be around for part of the season, but I’ll miss them both terribly!

    Comment by Ben – July 31, 2013 08:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • OMG this is like Best Friends Forever ALL OVER AGAIN. except one half of the gal pals will remain… best friendless… *~*MY HEART*~*

    Comment by cjeffery7 – July 31, 2013 10:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m just so saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad :( And this comes as such a big surprise as well. UGH. Everything hurts :(((

    Comment by Sandra – July 31, 2013 11:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I understand and respect their reasons for leaving, Rob’s getting rave reviews for his performance in Soderbergh’s Behind The Candelabra, I’ve read a lot of reviews claiming his presence to be “scene stealing”. He probably wants to get back into films. It’s a great show but Rashida’s always been too charismatic of an actress to spend 8 months of the year appearing as a supporting player on a sitcom. Ann Perkins is a wonderful character but she deserves better as an actress. She’s also a talented screenwriter, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt (who won’t be appearing in all eps this season dud to filming GotG) soon announced they were too leaving. Aubrey’s more than just an April Ludgate. The downside to having such a talented cast is that better opportunities are likely to present themselves.

    Comment by Mackenzie – August 1, 2013 01:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Aubrey Plaza is as one note as the get. She is the same character in everything she does. I for one would be thrillled if she left the show. She is the worst.

      Comment by tripoli – August 1, 2013 07:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just promote RETTA already, she deserves way more screentime and character development !

    Comment by Anthony – August 1, 2013 04:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Don’t forget that left brothers & sisters early too!! He breaks my heart every time. If I were a producer I would never cast him!

    Comment by Christen – August 1, 2013 08:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Aww man! :( Granted, I never cared for Ann much and while Chris is really funny, he doesn’t exactly add a whole lot to the show on an episode-to-episode basis, so I’m sure the show will survive without them. But it’s sad to see parts of the cast starting to leave…

    Comment by Little Scarf Girl – August 1, 2013 09:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bring back Mark!

    Comment by B – August 1, 2013 12:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
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