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Parks and Recreation - Season 7 - Mike Schur interview

When, how and why did you come up with the idea for this three-year time jump?

Mike Schur
: We were breaking the final batch of episodes and had begun discussing the finale story. Some of it was sort of pre-destined, because we had the Unity Concert, which was going to put the merger storyline to rest, by showing that the town en masse would speak louder than the naysayers. And Leslie was going to accept the job, but figure out a way to stay in Pawnee (set up much earlier in the season by Ron's discovery of the third floor and his subsequent refurbishing of it). Then we had a conversation about the show's future with NBC, and got a very strong indication that we would be back for season seven, so we turned our minds toward doing something that would inject another season's worth of story into the finale. That either meant rebreaking the main action, in certain ways, to make it more forward-thinking, or doing something at the end that would shake everything up, and since we liked the stories we'd broken we went with the latter.

What percentage of the decision was made just to avoid showing Leslie and Ben dealing with baby triplets? And given the spotty track record of sitcom characters having kids, why did you decide to triple down on the experience? And was the triplet decision made before or after you knew you'd be skipping over colic and night feedings?

Mike Schur:
The decision was made simply because we felt like Leslie is an overachiever, and it seemed funny and over achiever-y to have her and Ben create an insta-family. Triplets was one step beyond the traditional sitcom plot of "too much to handle," and seemed a little more fun and crazy-making, and when we researched it we found that the odds are about 1 in 8000 (the title of that episode) which didn't seem so nuts as to be implausible. But once we committed to that, we began imagining ways to avoid repeating what we had already seen with Ann -- pads and foot pain and sleepless nights and so forth. The jump forward allows us to avoid a lot of things that (I would imagine) fans were fearing about getting Leslie pregnant, in terms of the stories we tell going forward. That was a big reason I liked it.


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