Update 8:30 p.m.: Producer and showrunner Michael Schur has confirmed the departure to the Hollywood Reporter.
"We've been working on their storyline (on and off) for four seasons now, and heading into this year, with the two of them contemplating parenthood, it felt like a natural time to move them into the next phase," Schur wtold The Hollywood Reporter. "We absolutely love Rashida and Rob, and will be sad to see them go... Rashida was one of the very first people we knew we wanted in the cast, and as important as Ann is to Leslie (and vice-versa), she'll certainly never be far from Pawnee. Rob we initially thought we could only have for six or eight episodes, and we couldn't be happier that he will have stuck around for 75."
5:50 p.m.: In what is literally the worst news of all time, “Parks and Recreation” is about to lose two of its most beloved characters.
On Wednesday, word broke that series regulars Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe will be leaving "Parks and Recreation" in the middle of its upcoming sixth season. According to Buzzfeed, who first reported the story, 13 will be their final appearance on the critically acclaimed sitcom.
While fans are no doubt upset about the news of losing Jones and Lowe, it appears that their characters Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger will be leaving the show on a high note. Last season, Ann and Chris resumed their on-again, off-again relationship and decided to have a baby together, and this plotline will presumably lead to a happy ending for the two characters as they exit “Parks and Recreation.”
Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe appear to have bright futures outside of “Parks and Recreation” as well. Lowe, who joined the show in season 2 as a guest before being promoted to a series regular, has recently been cast as John F. Kennedy in NatGeo’s upcoming “Killing Kennedy.”
Meanwhile, Jones is developing a new sitcom with writing partner Will McCormack for Warner Bros. Television. Jones has previously worked with McCormack on the 2012 romantic comedy “Celeste & Jesse Forever.”
NBC has not responded to the rumors, nor have representatives for Jones and Lowe answered press inquiries. Buzzfeed’s Kate Aurthur reports that while the news of Jones and Lowe’s departure came during the middle of the Television Critics’ Awards press tour, this was not a scheduled announcement from NBC. Rather, the news appears to have been leaked from inside sources close to “Parks and Recreation” production staff.
“Parks and Recreations” premieres its sixth season on Sept. 26 with a one-hour episode set and filmed in London.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.