Top 10... - March 13, 2015

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Parks And Recreation
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Parks And Recreation

During its seven season run on TV, few sitcoms have brought as much joy and laughter to people as Parks and Recreation.

A mockumentary set in the parks department of the local government in Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana, the show stars former Saturday Night Live regular Amy Poehler as deputy director Leslie Knope, with Miss Congeniality 2 star Nick Offerman appearing as her boss Ron Swanson.

Rashida Jones, who you'll know from comedies like I Love You, Man, plays Leslie's best friend Ann Perkins while former teen heartthrob and West Wing lynchpin Rob Lowe plays city manager Chris Treager. Also starring is Guardians Of The Galaxy leading man Chris Pratt, comedian Aziz Ansari and rising star Aubrey Plaza.

As the show bids farewell after seven glorious seasons and on offer as part of hmv’s US TV in-store promotion, we thought it was a good time to dig into the archives and present to you 10 things you didn’t know about beloved sitcom Parks and Recreation.

 

Chris Pratt might be the show’s breakout star, but he was supposed to be gone before Series Two…

These days he’s the star of Guardians Of The Galaxy, Jurassic World and might even be the new Indiana Jones, but Chris Pratt was supposed to be nothing but a footnote in Parks and Recreation. Originally producers wanted him to play Anne’s annoying boyfriend for the first season and then be gone, but they ended up keeping him. It’s easy to see why…

 

The show was originally titled Public Service…

It was untitled throughout its development, before producers settled on the name Public Service, a name that was only dropped after NBC chairman Ben Silverman thought that the network couldn’t be seen to be making fun of the idea of public service…

 

Jim O’Heir was almost Ron Swanson…

It’s hard to imagine anyone but the wonderful Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, but Jim O’Heir, who you’ll now know as Larry/Jerry actually initially auditioned for the role of the highly principled, but extremely loveable director of the parks department.

 

Perd Hapley is a real-life journalist…

There’s a reason actor Jay Jackson is quite so good at being a news anchor, he was one once. He worked for various news outlets, including CBS and even won an Emmy for his work.

 

Leslie and Jean-Ralphio almost got together…

According to Tom Schwartz, who plays Jean-Ralphio, Tom’s hilarious, but utterly idiotic business partner, producers were considering he and Leslie Knope having a short-lived fling, only to eventually decide he was too young…

 

Nick Offerman and Adam Scott both wanted to play Mark Brendanawicz…

The cast of Parks and Recreation could have been so different, with both Nick Offerman and Adam Scott, who’d later star as Ben Wyatt, both originally auditioning to play Mark Brendawicz, the cynical town planner who’d eventually be played by Paul Schneider.

 

The show was almost a spin-off from The Office

The show came into being after the aforementioned Silverman asked to writer Greg Daniels to try and create a spin-off from the US version of The Office, something Daniels struggled with until he admitted he couldn’t “make the show the right fit” and concentrated instead on what would become Parks and Recreation.

 

Ellie Kemper almost played Anne Perkins…

You might have seen her starring in new sitcom The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, well she was almost Anne Perkins after impressing at an audition, but ultimately lost out to Rashida Jones…

 

Every map of Pawnee is actually a map of a town in New Zealand…

It’s true, any map you see during the show is actually based on Christchurch in New Zealand in size and layout. You should go there, it’s lovely.

 

Nick Offerman has a lot in common with his character…

Much like his character, Offerman is an accomplished saxophonist and is a fine woodworker, even owning his own woodworking business…

 

Parks And Recreation is available as part of hmv’s US TV promotion. It’s in stores across the UK now.

Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation NBC

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