"Parks and Recreation" -- pretty much the last member of a critically cherished lightly viewed class of quality sitcoms at NBC -- will not be going quietly into that primetime night next year.
Not quietly, but quickly: NBC announced a little while ago that it will double-pump episodes leading into a February 24 series finale. The fun begins Jan. 13 at 8, and ends a little over a month later.
This strategy for a beloved series' final season is (yes) unusual, but one could also argue that it's expedient as well -- a very quick exit for a show that never quite broke through to the vast populace at large, even if it did make many fans very happy and created in Chris Pratt one of the biggest stars on the planet. (Quick: Who predicted that Pratt would be the one to emerge from this run the biggest hit of them all? Anyone?)
But, as usual, I digress. In any event, let's take NBC's "event" line, just to be charitable, while this Tuesday double-pump could hardly be equated to a primetime burial, particularly during the February sweeps.
“Critics, viewers and all of us at NBC fell in love with this endearing, funny, heartfelt show and its authentic cast of characters,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “After seven amazing seasons, saying goodbye to the folks of Pawnee will be bittersweet, so we want to give the show and its fans the most impactful final season possible.”
And from NBC Entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt:
“In an effort to give it the send-off it deserves, we wanted to ‘eventize’ the final season to maximize the impact of these episodes, which really do take the show to a new level. The highly anticipated one-hour finale will air behind ‘The Voice’ in order to lead the largest audience possible into what promises to be a very special hour of television.”