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“Parks and Rec” co-creator Michael Schur on recreating Pawnee from home

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal Apr 29, 2020
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Michael Schur with Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones and the rest of the "Parks and Recreation" cast in 2019. JB Lacroix/Getty Images
COVID-19

“Parks and Rec” co-creator Michael Schur on recreating Pawnee from home

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal Apr 29, 2020
Michael Schur with Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones and the rest of the "Parks and Recreation" cast in 2019. JB Lacroix/Getty Images
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Tomorrow night, Leslie Knope and crew are returning to television for a special episode of “Parks and Recreation.” Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Michael Schur, the co-creator of “Parks and Rec” as well as shows like “The Office” and “The Good Place,” about making a special entirely from home.

NBC asked whether the cast of “Parks and Recreation” would reunite for a table read, and Schur proposed they instead do an original episode as a fundraiser. “Everybody was really happy to essentially volunteer their time,” Schur said. “I’m really happy that we were able to do it, and I’m even happier that we’re doing it for a good cause.”

To make the special, the writers and crew were all working remotely, and the actors filmed themselves in their respective homes. Schur said the entire process was challenging.

“For people who are used to working on TV shows, which are enormous, collaborative efforts involving hundreds of people in dozens of different departments, it’s not even an option, really,” he said. “Looking to the future, it’s hard to imagine how we make anything, really.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?

The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.

What kind of help can small businesses get right now?

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.

What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?

New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.

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