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Parks and Recreation Boss Clears the Air on Big Season 6 Exits: 'There's No Controversy Involved'

Parks and Recreation Season 6 Rob Lowe and Rashida JonesRob Lowe and Rashida Jones are not leaving Parks and Recreation in a move to cut costs, the NBC comedy’s boss maintains. Instead, it was purely a creative decision.

“Every network comes to you and says, ‘Cut costs,’ all the time,” Parks and Recreation exec producer Mike Schur told reporters Thursday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills, where he was promoting his new Fox comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. “A reality of the network television game is they’ll always tell you to do impossible things with less and less money. But it wasn’t like, ‘Uh oh, we’ve got to hack away our cast.'”

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Schur also stressed that the decision to write out Ann and Chris didn’t come because their portrayers, Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe, asked off the series. With the two characters preparing to have a child together, “It felt like maybe this is the way they get moved off, into the next phase of their lives on the show,” the EP explained.

The natural progression of the story “totally dovetailed and aligned with what the two actors envisioned for themselves in their careers. It’s a big happy mutual hug-fest celebration,” Schur said, adding that Jones (who has a production company set up at Warner Bros. TV) “was totally on board” with the choice.

“The real headline is that everyone is happy,” maintained Schur. “There’s no controversy involved.”