“Parks and Recreation” fans will have to say goodbye to Chris Traeger and Ann Perkins when the on again/off again/on again/let’s have a baby together couple exits the show mid-season, as Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones have chosen to leave the show to pursue other opportunities.
I spoke with the couple this week at a party celebrating the 100th episode of the series where they opened up for the first time about saying goodbye.
“In life, people move on,” Rob told me. “What I’ve always loved about ‘Parks and Rec’ is its honesty and its heart and people move on in life and Chris and Ann are moving on too. It’s sad and it’s exciting, but it’s great just as it is for us to actually move on as actors.”
But before they move on, producers will have to wrap up their storyline, which began last week with Ann and Chris revealing their plans to best friends Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), to potentially leave Pawnee, Indiana and move to Michigan to be closer to Ann’s family.
“It’s nice because we revealed that information early on in the season so that it can be more about how the characters choose to deal with, you know, the moment of leaving,” Rashida explained. “It will continue to be about that and also like Chris and Ann planning their life and like making decisions about their baby and you know, how they move forward.”
Rob, who joined the show at the end of Season 2, already has a new NBC show in the works.
“My new show is a work place comedy about what goes on in a very, very fancy LA country club,” he revealed.
The single camera comedy, tentatively titled “The Pro,” centers around a washed up former professional tennis player whose career mishaps and bad financial decisions lead him to have to take a job as a tennis pro.
When asked why he chose to jump back into something so quickly, Rob was quick to give praise to his current show for the decision.
“I’ve learned so much on this show,” he said. “I’ve loved being involved in something great that when a great idea came my way I thought about taking some time off but great ideas are hard to find and so I just jumped back in.”
“Parks and Recreation” airs Thursdays at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.