Two residents of Pawnee will soon bid farewell: Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones are exiting Parks and Recreation during the show’s sixth season, EW has confirmed. (Buzzfeed first reported the news.) The pair will depart about halfway through the season, in the 13th episode.
Jones has been with the show since it launched, starring as Ann Perkins, the unlucky-in-love, loyal best friend of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). Lowe came aboard late in season 2 in a guest arc as Chris Traeger, the super-upbeat state auditor, and wound up becoming a series regular. Chris and Ann dated in season 3, and were trying to have baby at the end of last season.
Update: In a statement today, Parks executive producer Michael Schur said: “The news about Rob and Rashida is true – they will be leaving the show after the 13th episode of the upcoming season six. 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. We absolutely love both 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. They are wonderful, funny, committed actors, they’ve been a huge part of the Parks and Rec family, and we think we have a great Pawnee send-off in the works for them.”
While it is unclear what that final story line will be, Schur recently told EW that when the show resumes, things will be going well romantically for Ann and Chris. “Their main thrust for the first chunk of episodes is just being a couple and dating – and also obviously, trying to have a baby,” he said.
Season 6 of Parks debuts Sept. 26 with an hour-long premiere that features a trip to London and guest stars Heidi Klum, Henry Winkler and Lucy Lawless.