Not even a pandemic can keep Leslie Knope from trying to save the world. The cast of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” is reuniting for a single episode next Thursday to raise money for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, according to a press release from NBC.
Along with Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, the special half-hour episode will see the return of cast members Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, Retta, Rob Lowe, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, and Jim O’Heir. The episode will air on April 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. The release said “several guest stars from the Pawnee universe may pop in,” too.
The episode is based on the the present-day pandemic and will follow Leslie Knope as she attempts to stay connected with her former Pawnee Parks Department co-workers in the age of social distancing, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Pratt, who portrays the fictional small town’s beloved rock star Andy Dwyer, posted about the reunion on Instagram. He said the episode has already been filmed and that “many are saying it’s the greatest episode of television ever to be filmed in Quarantine. It’s not a competition. But if it was… we would easily win.”
In the video Pratt and the other actors posted, Poehler says the episode was filmed entirely in the actors’ individual homes.
The show’s executive producer Michael Schur said they were looking for ways to help people during the coronavirus pandemic, and decided that “bringing these characters back for a night could raise some money.”
“I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes,” he said. “Our old ‘Parks and Rec’ team has put together one more 30-minute slice of (quarantined) Pawnee life and we hope everyone enjoys it. And donates!”
Feeding America set up the COVID-19 fund in March to help food banks “secure the resources they need to serve the most vulnerable members of the community during this difficult time,” according to their website.
State Farm and Subaru of America will each make matching donations of $150,000, according to the release. NBCUniversal and the writers, producers, and cast of “Parks and Recreation” will also chip in, offering an overall total of $500,000 in matching donations through May 21.