The second season DVD set for Parks & Recreation turned up on my doorstep this week, with a sticker on front declaring it included a sneak preview of the first three minutes of season three. But when the hell will season three be airing? Nobody seems to know.
The show got held back as a midseason replacement, and everybody thought that horrible, unfunny and racist Outsourced would get knocked off NBC’s schedule within a few weeks. But this is America, so horrible, unfunny and racist equals a hit, and the show has been renewed for a full season. Which leaves no room in NBC’s Thursday night schedule for Parks & Recreation.
Speaking with E!, show runner Mike Schur had this qualified bit of info to give:
It’s pretty safe to say that the show will be on in January or February. We’ve been given every indication that the show is coming on soon, [but] we really don’t know when we’re returning yet. My gut says we’re going to know something [from NBC] within the next few days.
He’s hoping they get teamed back up with The Office, but he has no idea what NBC’s plans are. He does explain why this disappearance into the mid-season black hole is so annoying, though:
The situation was that Amy had gotten pregnant and if we want to be on the air in September, we have to finish season two and just roll right into season three. It was a lot to ask of a very tired cast and production staff, but we didn’t really have a choice. NBC was very responsive and said absolutely, we’re just picking the show up right now for season three so you guys can get started. So instead of winding down, we geared right back up.It was while we were shooting around the fourth episode we found out we weren’t going to be on in September. It was a little bit ironic because we were all hustling, doing this Herculean task to get ready to be on the air, and it was all for naught. It was definitely a surprise and very disappointing, but it’s not something we can control. We’ve always felt like the best advertisement for our show is the actual show itself—our only goal is to make this show good.
They’re currently up to the sixteenth episode of season three.