COVID-19

“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

Which businesses are allowed to reopen right now? And which businesses are actually doing so?

As a patchwork of states start to reopen, businesses that fall into a gray area are wondering when they can reopen. In many places, salons are still shuttered. Bars are mostly closed, too, although restaurants may be allowed to ramp up, depending on the state. “It’s kind of all over the place,” said Elizabeth Milito of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Will you be able to go on vacation this summer?

There’s no chance that this summer will be a normal season for vacations either in the U.S. or internationally. But that doesn’t mean a trip will be impossible. People will just have to be smart about it. That could mean vacations closer to home, especially with gas prices so low. Air travel will be possible this summer, even if it is a very different experience than usual.

When does the expanded COVID-19 unemployment insurance run out?

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March, authorized extra unemployment payments, increasing the amount of money, and broadening who qualifies. The increased unemployment benefits have an expiration date — an extra $600 per week the act authorized ends on July 31.

You can find answers to more questions here.

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