Parks and Rec Scoop: EP Mike Schur Reveals Who's 'Replacing' Ann as Leslie's BFF

Parks And Recreation Ann Perkins LeavingThe 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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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36 Comments
  1. Elizabeth says:

    This should give April, Donna, and Ben new and ample storylines to go with Leslie. The loss of Rashida stinks for the fans of her work but I do believe that this will give the show a new life. Very excited for season six. Thank you TvLine for keeping on top of this story. You guys have been great!

    • Michelle says:

      I agree completely. I think the show needed something to shake things up and this will hopefully provide opportunities for new and interesting storylines. So looking forward to the new season!

    • ... says:

      Ben’s the reason for Ann’s reduced role in recent years. He took her place as Leslie’s confidante and straight man, leaving Ann with no real purpose on the show (and a poor baby plot to boot), so he’s no one in need of storylines.

    • Alana says:

      I agree. Outside of being Leslie’s BFF, the writers have never really seemed to know what to do with Ann. I’ll miss Leslie/Ann friendship times, but I think this will ultimately be good for the show.

  2. Jem says:

    I’d like to see her be beasties with Lucy Lawless. That would be like being friends with Ron but different. Plus you know Xena!

    • Bob says:

      Beasties? Well, I think Lawless would be up for it, but not sure about Poehler. Maybe they could just be “Besties”?

  3. Babybop says:

    I’m happy that Donna is going to get more screen time!

    • Liza180 says:

      Me too! Always thought she was way underutilized. Would also like to see more of Jerry and his family. They crack me up.

  4. Eddie says:

    I think Leslie & Andy’s friendship would be sweet. We have seen her support him through trying to get April in season 3, and he supported her through her city councillor campaign and the ‘Leslie/Sentar’ painting. Plus they are both equally dorky.

  5. Pete says:

    I just want to see a lot of Jean Ralphio and Tom together. Hilarious duo!

  6. Joey says:

    I could see Leslie and Donna being Best friends.

  7. John says:

    MORE RETTA ALWAYS

  8. Liza180 says:

    oddly, I’m not going to miss Rob Lowe’s character that much. I’ll miss Ann cause Rashida Jones is funny, but I got tired of Chris a lot. If his going paves the way for more Donna, I’m all for it.

  9. Eliza says:

    More Donna = win!

  10. Caitlin P says:

    Ugh. No one really watches this show. It’s just a fringe thing with terrible ratings.

    • Luna says:

      No one, that’s why is still on air, can’t you see any comment on this page? I mean, why do you speak universally? What the hell is going on with you? Not even my younger brother use sentences like that.

    • Get A Life says:

      Seems to be popular with trolls, though.

      • scooby says:

        Based on a scientific analysis, very popular with trolls. For every 10 trolls, 2 hate on Parks and Rec (or another lower rated but critically acclaimed show), 2 grumble about seeing Lena Dunham naked and/or sense of youth entitlement on Girls, 2 hate watch The Newsroom, 1 picks fights on Bones and Castle boards playing one side against the other, 2 hate all things Lady Mary on Downton Abbey while thinking Edith is God’s gift, and 1 goes around to various boards and articles talking about the Kardashians or the royal baby or something reality-based writing ‘I don’t know who these people are!! Why aren’t we focusing on [fill in the blank, e.g. Syrian] refugees! This is so stupid! Who cares?’ while failing to notice that nobody forced them to click on the article and it’s possible to pay attention to more than one thing in the world.

        • name required says:

          Wait, I hate Mary, and I don’t consider myself a troll. She’s got an AWFUL personality in the first season. Then again I also don’t comment on articles. (I realize how hypocritical that makes this comment.)

    • Josh says:

      We don’t want people like Caitlin P watching this show anyway. She is clearly one of those Eagletonians.

    • Bob says:

      Well, Caitlin, thank you for thinking for everyone today. Takes a load off the rest of us. Feel free to fill in any time.

  11. Lorie says:

    More Retta…yay!!!

  12. Spencer says:

    “The biggest personal story that Leslie goes through this season is dealing with her friend leaving.”

    Nope. That’s it. I’m already sobbing. This is supposed to be a comedy and yet this show has made me cry more times than any drama. It’s going to be so hard to see Rashida and Rob leave…

  13. Pish says:

    i’m going to miss both chris and ann as characters (chris/ron plotlines have consistently been hilarious and i just really like ann) but i think their departure’s going to ultimately be a good thing for the show. *very* happy about more retta. always more retta.

  14. John says:

    I think Leslie and Jean Ralphio should strike up a friendship. Much to Ben’s dismay.

  15. Alejandro says:

    Ann cannot leave. I know that the writers had Amy Poehler in mind when the wrote the show. But if Ann never went to that first town hall meeting in season one and complained about the pitt behind her house then Leslie would have never gotten involved and she never would have had her sub committee to build the park. Can please also end the show with the park finally built and with the plans that Mark left leslie at the end of season two and him coming back and telling her “I wouldn’t bet against you and I never did”

  16. Magically Suspicious says:

    I think Jerry should be her new Bestie. It would be completely out of character, and the comedy potential for that duo is off the charts.

  17. Belle says:

    I think they should make it a competition, have two strong characters with great chemistry with each other and Leslie and they want to be her new BFF. Have them to do all the zany things a la Leslie needs and it will be hilarious just to see who wants it more :) I also feel that Ann and Leslie will always be besties whether we see Ann or not…they can mention her and Chris over the remainder of the year and into next too – there is no way Leslie would never not talk to Ann in some form or fashion…just flipant remarks from Leslie on Ann’s cravings, Chris’s hysteria and flying to Sweden to get some crazy food Ann has to have :) Can be so easy to keep them relevant without having to see them!!!

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