Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones are leaving NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” halfway through Season 6. According to Buzzfeed, which first broke the news Wednesday (July 31), the duo will be exiting Pawnee in February after the 13th episode of the upcoming 22-episode sixth season.
Lowe joined the comedy as a guest star towards the end of the second season as the overeager government official Chris Traeger, while Jones has played Leslie Knope’s (Amy Poehler) best friend Ann Perkins since the pilot episode. She was actually the first actor to join “Parks and Rec” when it was still being marketed as a spin-off of “The Office,” in which she also co-starred.
NBC is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with Lowe for a potential series. He previously appeared on the network in Aaron Sorkin’s political drama “The West Wing,” which he famously walked away from over a salary dispute and decreased airtime. The actor next stars in National Geographic’s “Killing Kennedy” as JFK.
Jones and Lowe’s characters enjoyed a short-lived romance in Season 3, and more recently were contemplating having a child together, leading to a rekindling of their relationship.
Co-creator Michael Schur confirmed their departure in a statement:
The news about Rob and Rashida is true — they will be leaving the show after the 13th episode of the upcoming season six. We’ve been working on their storyline (on and off) for four seasons now, and heading into this year, with the two of them contemplating parenthood, it felt like a natural time to move them into the next phase.
We absolutely love both Rashida and Rob, and will be sad to see them go. Rashida was one of the very first people we knew we wanted in the cast, and as important as Ann is to Leslie (and vice-versa), she’ll certainly never be far from Pawnee. Rob we initially thought we could only have for six or eight episodes, and we couldn’t be happier that he will have stuck around for 75.
They are wonderful, funny, committed actors, they’ve been a huge part of the ‘Parks and Rec’ family, and we think we have a great Pawnee send-off in the works for them.
The sixth season will kick off with a trip to London and feature guest stars Henry Winkler, Heidi Klum and the return of Lucy Lawless.
“Parks and Recreation” returns for Season 6 with an hour-long premiere on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8/7 p.m. CT on NBC.
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