The departure of Rashida Jones‘ Ann midway through Parks and Recreation‘s upcoming sixth season is going to leave a huge vacancy in her BFF Leslie Knope’s (Amy Poehler) social circle — so huge it will take more than one person to fill it.
According to executive producer Mike Schur, the NBC comedy will “position different people to fill in parts of her emotional world. It won’t be just one person.”
To wit, “There’s something that April does in the [London-set, Sept. 26] premiere that’s sort of a harbinger of things to come,” Schur reveals. “And we’re bringing Retta a lot more to the forefront this season. Donna and Leslie will have some good connections and some good screen time together.”
By the time Jones exits in February, Schur notes that Leslie and Ann will have spent “103 episodes interacting and becoming friends. We’re not just going to suddenly pretend that a new actor can come in and be, like, Leslie’s new best friend. It’s going to be people she already knows and relies on and cares about.”
And by all accounts she’s going to really need a strong support system after Ann leaves town (with Rob Lowe’s Chris in tow). Previews Schur: “The biggest personal story that Leslie goes through this season is dealing with her friend leaving.”