TCA Winter ’15: NBC not waffling on ‘Parks’ ending

 

Parks and Recreation - Season 7

Parks and Recreation‘s end is nigh and that’s not going to change, no matter how great this last season is, or how it performs. This straight from NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt at the 2015 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour  in Pasadena, Calif. on Friday.

“The day after the ratings, I e-mailed both Amy [Poehler] and Mike [Schur] and said, ‘Do you want to do another season?’ They didn’t get back to me right away,” Greenblatt joked at an executive panel alongside NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. “That show …  it’s the right time to end it.”

In general, Greenblatt feels like they made the right choices when it came to figuring out how to end Parks, especially in terms of scheduling (“It was good idea to do two episodes back-to-back … made it feel like more of an event”), but he doesn’t want to continue the Parks model as he adds new comedies to the schedule. As per the new network outlook on comedies, there just isn’t room for more single-cam series.

“We are really challenged by the comedy brand that we’re trying to build on this network,” Greenblatt added later on in the panel. “We’re doing it one show at a time, but we’re going to try some more multi-cams. Some of the best shows on NBC in its history were multi-cams. We’re excited about Undateable. We’re excited about One Big Happy, which is the Ellen [Degeneres] show. We’re excited about Eva [Longoria’s] show.”

NBC is set to present panels for those first two comedies later in the TCA day, while they just announced the pick-up of Longoria’s Telenovela, a show that sounds a lot like Jane the Virgin in its behind-the-scenes look at Spanish soap operas. According to Salke, NBC is “looking at comedy in as many ways as [it] can” at the moment, but that mainly means multi-cams or live series. Above all, though, the three pillars she and Greenblatt are looking for are “quality, vision and story,” which you could say are the beating heart of Parks. So, even as Leslie and her coworkers leave us, there’s still hope for more Knope, or someone, something like her, in our future.

 

Emily is covering the 2015 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour live from the Huntington Langham Hotel from January 9 – 18. Tune in every day for new pieces and follow her tweets at @Cinefilles and @emilygagne.

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