UPDATE: There’s great news for fans. Parks and Recreation Season 7 will return on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m., as reported by Entertainment Weekly. If you are an Emmy voter, you might not know that NBC's Parks And Recreation exists (as evidenced by the frankly shocking lack of nominations for the brilliant show at this year's ceremony). But if, however, you are a television viewer with good taste in comedy, then it's probably one of your favorite shows and you're definitely feeling conflicted about the upcoming seventh and final season and wondering when Parks and Rec will finally return. On the one hand, you can't wait to get your hands on more, so you want it to start as soon as possible. But on the other hand, you know that the sooner the final season begins, the sooner the show ends, so you sort of don't want it to start at all. Gah!
Thankfully, NBC has taken this impossibly difficult decision out of our emotionally crippled hands by simply not asking our opinion. That's right — the network execs put together their 2014-2015 schedule together without running it by the fans first, shocking as that may seem. (The viewer-assisred version of their season would definitely have contained a lot more Hannibal.) But a quick glance at NBC's fall schedule raises one major concern: there's no Parks anywhere in sight! What gives, Peacock? (April and Donna are not amused.)
Since the final season of Parks will consist of only 13 episodes (sad face), NBC is holding the show for a midseason premiere. While the network has yet to announce an exact return date, this means we won't be traveling back to Pawnee until sometime in early 2015 (likely January or February). Yeah, that's far away, but hey — at least that means the finale is really far away, right? Another silver lining: the delayed premiere gives you ample time to rewatch all 112 episodes of Seasons 1-6 before Season 7 begins! Hooray!
Fortunately, we already know a few tidbits about the final season to tide us over until the show actually comes back next year. We know the premiere is titled "2017" (remember Season 6 ended with a significant time jump); the second episode is titled "Ron & Jammy" (in which Megan Mullally will be reprising her role as Tammy 2); Rachel Dratch (30 Rock, SNL) will guest star on at least one episode; we probably won't be seeing much of Andy Dwyer (since Chris Pratt is such a busy man these days); and, most surprisingly, the season will dispense with the mockumentary format that's been synonymous with the show throughout its first six years. No word yet on whether Jon Hamm will reprise his cameo as incompetent Parks employee Ed, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Images: Colleen Hayes, Byron Cohen/NBC