How the Parks and Recreation Reunion Special Came Together

“It sort of made me want to cry a little bit…I sort of said to NBC I’ll look into this. And I sent out this email and the responses are so quick and so instant and so instantly positive. It just made me so happy. It was very much in keeping with the spirit of the show when we were making it,” Schur told press. “It was kind of astonishing that—I mean, forget about how famous they are, getting any group of 10 people to respond to you over an email in 45 minutes feels like an accomplishment. So, it really was lovely and like I said, it was very much in the spirit of the way that we used to make the show. It felt like everybody was rowing in the same direction and at the same speed and so it just made me really happy to watch those emails come pinging into my inbox one after another.”

During a walk with his wife, Single Parents co-creator J.J. Philbin, Schur said he realized the reunion needed to be a scripted one, something totally original with the characters from Pawnee dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

With the cast on board and the idea in place, Schur drafted Morgan Sackett to direct and wrote the episode with Megan Amram, Dave King, Joe Mande, Aisha Muharrar, Matt Murray and Jen Statsky.

“I reached out to some of the old writers because I didn’t think I could write it myself. It seems like too big of job. So, I reached out to six of the old writers from the show, who all instantly, just like the cast said, yes, they would love to do it…We wrote the script, we conceived of and wrote the script in about two and a half days which was insane. Maybe three days total,” he said.

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