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'Parks and Recreation': Pawnee, literally, has the best newsletter ever

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BREAKING NEWS out of Pawnee, Indiana: Pawnee still has newsletters!

If you thought paper announcements had gone the way of dial-up internet and VCRs, I ask you to turn your attention to the following bulletin from TV’s most charming small town.

In this newsletter some familiar faces from the Parks department fill you in on all the important November happenings, including (Ron-approved) Movember, the pumpkin- and pie-free pumpkin pie competition, and Wamapoke Appreciation Month (Death to the White Man).

Check it out in full here.

Related:
‘Parks and Recreation’: Amy Poehler, Adam Scott and Mike Schur on last night’s twist
‘Parks and Recreation’ recap: Then he walked in…

'Parks and Recreation': Amy Poehler, Adam Scott and Mike Schur on last night's twist

Will there be a wedding on Parks and Recreation this year? How will everyone in the Parks department take the news of Leslie and Ben’s engagement? Was there every an alternate idea for Ben’s proposal?

Amy Poehler, Adam Scott and Mike Schur tackled a bevy of burning questions about last night’s surprising and moving episode today in a conference call with reporters — and here’s the scoop! (If you missed it, read the recap here.)

+Will there be a wedding this season?
While Schur didn’t want to say whether or not we’d see a wedding this season, he said their plan would not be impacted by the show’s outlook for another season. “We learned a long time ago that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. For that reason, our motto has been to go for broke,” he says. “Tell every story you want to tell and don’t worry about what comes next. Don’t worry about the future.” But one thing fans can definitely expect? Everyone in the Parks department to get in on the wedding-planning fun. “You know that no matter what, Leslie will involve and include everyone in her plans — every time,” says Poehler. “This engagement will be everybody’s engagement. Certainly…everyone’s reacting to it in different ways and being included in different ways.” READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Recreation': Christie Brinkley to play Jerry's wife -- EXCLUSIVE

Jerry Gergich (Jim O’Heir) may be the office punching bag, but his wife is a total knockout. EW has learned that Jerry’s oft-referenced-yet-never-seen-before spouse, Gayle — with whom he shares a lovely life — will finally make an appearance on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and she’s being played by… model/actress Christie Brinkley. (This goes a long way in explaining Jerry’s hot daughter, Millicent. As for how the Parks department’s schlemiel/schlemazel landed such a catch, perhaps it had something to do with last season’s big revelation.) READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Recreation': Megan Mullally to return

Tammy 2 is never too far away! The second ex-Mrs. Tammy Swanson, played by Megan Mullally, will pop up again in season 5 of NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. Would you be shocked to learn that this does not bode well for Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), who is starting a romance with single mom Diane (guest star Lucy Lawless)? You would not. READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Recreation': Exec producer Michael Schur offers 11 hints about season 5 with a twist

Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. on NBC’s Parks and Recreation… Leslie Knope faces her toughest challenge yet as a member of the City Council! Okay, yes, she just started the job, but Leslie (Amy Poehler) does have a big decision to make about a Bloomberg-esque soda tax that’s designed to discourage Pawnee’s residents (first in friendship! fourth in obesity!) from purchasing absurdly oversized sugary drinks. “Her actions have a lot more ramifications and there’s a lot more people involved and a lot more power involved, ” says Parks executive producer Michael Schur. “It’s an early crucible for her to get through and try to figure out whether she has the guts and the fortitude to make it work in the new job. It’s been a long time since Leslie’s been completely at sea and has no idea professionally speaking what to do in a given situation.” To ensure that you’re not completely at sea when it comes to upcoming developments on the show, Schur has kindly provided you with 11 teases for season 5. There’s just one catch: the names of the characters he’s talking about have been omitted. Let the guessing game begin! Oh, and don’t be a Jerry and accidentally read the answer key at the bottom of the page first.

READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Recreation': Lucy Lawless on playing Ron Swanson's new love interest -- FIRST LOOK

parks-recreation-lucy-lawless

Good news: Ron Swanson is ready to love again! Better news: Her name is not Tammy 3! Lucy Lawless will guest-star in multiple episodes of NBC’s Parks and Recreation as Diane Lewis, a middle school vice principal who becomes the object of Ron’s affection (he’d probably hate that expression), and you can get your first look at this coupling in the photos below. When the city starts a 311-type community hotline, “Diane is ringing up about a pothole in her driveway, and Ron (Nick Offerman) finally takes it upon himself to go and fix the hole because of course he’s such a man, he can fix anything,” says Lawless. “So he’s going to fill my pothole, if you know what I mean.” (He might like that expression a little better.) READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Recreation': Ms. Knope goes to Washington, meets senators -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

She has dozens of Washington Monument figurines. She keeps framed photos of Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, and Janet Reno in her office. She once fashioned a Geraldine Ferraro action figure out of a photograph and a popsicle stick. In other words, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) loves the heck out of government. So it seems fitting that in the season 5 premiere of Parks and Recreation (NBC, Thursday, 9:30 p.m.), she journeys to Washington, D.C., where she visits with her beau, Ben (Adam Scott), who’s working on a congressional campaign, and takes care of some official Pawnee business.

But that’s just the tip of the Lautenberg. (As in Frank? Democrat senator from New Jersey? The oldest serving — Okay, okay, I’ll stop.) When Ben takes her to a high-powered cocktail party, Leslie gets up close and personal with such real-life U.S. senators as John McCain, Barbara Boxer, and Olympia Snowe. Try not to get choked up as you watch her encounter with two of those politicians in the following clip. READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Recreation': Sneak a peek at season 5 -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

It’s been a trying four months, trudging through week after week after week with no new episodes of Parks and Recreation. Dare we say, though, you handled it like a (three-legged) Champion, and now your patience will literally be rewarded as season 5 kicks off this Thursday.

So, what can you expect in the coming year from the parks people of Pawnee? Perhaps you’ve heard rumbles of a girlfriend for Ron (Nick Offerman) who’s not named Tammy. Or a trip for Leslie (Amy Poehler) to Washington, D.C., where she will meet some high-powered political players. Or that Jonathan “Mike from Breaking Bad” Banks will be playing Ben’s dad. READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Rec': New video sums up Leslie Knope's campaign

Dying for more Leslie Knope?

The wait is almost over — the fifth season of Parks and Recreation will premiere this Thursday at 9:30 ET. For those that don’t have time to marathon the whole last season (which culminated in Knope’s defeat of Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) for the new City Council representative of Pawnee), NBC has put together a quick catch-up video of the campaign conveniently reminding you of all the jokes you forgot made you crack up the first time around. Not to mention a few good emotional gut punches — Leslie Knope’s finale voiceover still gets me.

Check it all out below: READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Rec': 'Breaking Bad' actor Jonathan Banks to play Ben's dad

Ben Wyatt’s dad is… Mike Ehrmentraut?!

It’s true: EW has confirmed that Jonathan Banks, better known to Breaking Bad fans as stoic fixer Mike, has booked a guest role on Parks and Recreation‘s fifth season. (HitFix first reported the news.) Banks will play the yet-unnamed father of Adam Scott’s character, Ben Wyatt. He’ll likely appear in the season’s sixth episode.

“We were working [on] the character description of Ben’s dad,” Parks co-creator Mike Schur told HitFix, “and I said aloud, ‘He should act like Mike Ehrmentraut. So somebody said, ‘Well, why can’t we just get Jonathan Banks?’” Schur and his team are all huge fans of both Banks’s work and AMC’s Emmy-winning series: “To me, at this exactly moment in time, he’s everyone I know’s favorite actor,” Schur explained. “After that arc, he’s the actor about which we’ve spent the most time talking in the room over the last year.”

Banks joins a list of Parks season 5 guest stars that already includes Lucy Lawless and Senators John McCain, Barbara Boxer, and Olympia Snowe. The sitcom returns Thursday, Sept. 20 on NBC.

Read more:
Mike from ‘Breaking Bad’ in a ’70s menstruation PSA — VIDEO
‘Breaking Bad’ ‘Say My Name’ review: The new classic Walter, all-rotten, all the time
‘Parks and Rec’ blooper reel just as great as you’d hope — VIDEO

'Parks and Recreation': Ron Swanson gets a new love interest

Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) may have met his match. Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Spartacus) will guest on NBC’s Parks and Recreation this fall as his new love interest, EW has confirmed. She’s set to appear in at least two episodes as a single mother named Diane who catches Swanson’s eye when he and Andy (Chris Pratt) respond to a problem she brings to the Parks Department. (Ron’s working? What?!) She’ll first appear in season 5′s third episode on Oct. 4.

Earlier this summer, Offerman told EW he and Parks and Rec EP Michael Schur had talked about a change in Swanson’s love life. “We’re hoping to maybe see a new relationship develop for Ron,” he said. “One thing Ron’s never succeeded at is maintaining a happy romantic relationship for any length of time. Maybe we’ll get to explore that a little bit.”

Read more:
‘Parks and Recreation’: Senators John McCain, Barbara Boxer, and Olympia Snowe in D.C. episode
Nick Offerman talks the toughest thing he’s had to do as Ron Swanson
Emmy Watch: ‘Parks and Recreation’ EP Michael Schur on ‘The Debate,’ why Amy Poehler is due
Aziz Ansari talks Tom’s Oh-no-nos list

'Parks and Recreation': Senators John McCain, Barbara Boxer, and Olympia Snowe in D.C. episode

From Pawnee to D.C.! NBC comedy Parks and Recreation will head to our nation’s capital to shoot an upcoming episode that will include cameo appearances by U.S. senators John McCain, Barbara Boxer, and Olympia Snowe. The episode’s plot revolves around newly elected city councilwoman/all-around fan of politics Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) journeying to Washington, D.C. to visit her boyfriend, Ben (Adam Scott), who had accepted an offer in the season 4 finale to work on a congressional campaign. While she is there, Ben invites her to attend a cocktail party, where they will cross paths with the aforementioned politicians.

Ben and Leslie won’t be the only Parks characters seen inside the Beltway. Andy (Chris Pratt) will join Leslie on her trip so he can see his wife, April (Aubrey Plaza), who is now working with Ben.

The episode will air Sept. 27 as part of season 5, which begins Sept. 20.

Read more:
‘Parks and Recreation’ finale: Exec producer Michael Schur on why Leslie [SPOILER] the election, what’s next

Emmy Watch: 'Parks and Recreation' EP Michael Schur on 'The Debate,' why Amy Poehler is due

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, EW.com is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

In EW.com’s annual Season Finale Awards, readers voted Parks and Recreation‘s season 4 ender the episode most likely to earn someone an Emmy — that person being Amy Poehler. Parks and Recreation exec producer Michael Schur, who thinks there are about a dozen episodes from last season that could do that for Poehler, would obviously love that. “It’s very important to me that people know she’s never won an Emmy before,” Schur says. “I watched this happen with Steve Carell. I think if you ask the average person on the street how many Emmys Steve Carell won for playing Michael Scott, they would probably say, ‘I don’t know. Nine?’ The answer is zero, and it bummed me out deeply. Everyone who worked on that show with Steve feels this way. And now Amy is kinda in this weird similar position where she’s been nominated a bunch of times, and she’s been so good at what she’s done for so long, that I think everybody just assumes she’s been properly rewarded for that and she hasn’t. I hope this is the year that changes.”

Could 2012 also bring the show, which broke into the Best Comedy category last year, its first Emmy as well? Below, Schur takes us inside the episode he hopes voters will revisit. READ FULL STORY

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