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NBC Star Claims a Cast Rumble Earned Outsourced the Parks and Recreation Thursday Slot

There's a timely metaphor in Parks and Recreation losing its Thursday berth to make room for Outsourced, NBC's new comedy about a U.S. company's call center getting shipped overseas to India. But Outsourced co-star Diedrich Bader (a Drew Carey Show veteran) maintains that it wasn't irony that got his show its time slot, it was good ol' American brute force. "We had a softball game that I thought would be friendly, the plan was to let the winner take the time slot, but we got to the third inning and then we just started fighting each other," he told us at the NBC upfront. "We ended up just kicking their asses." He pointed to his castmates. "They're short, but they're scrappy. That's why [Parks] had to step off. Half of them are in the hospital." Parks and Rec's Nick Offerman, also at the event, denied the existence of a softball game but said, "I would have loved an arm-wrestling match."

Yvettte Nicole Brown, who plays Shirley on Community, was just happy none of this affected her show. "I'm going to welcome them in," she said of the Outsourced cast. "They're part of the family. I think we're all the same kind of comedy and whoever they rotate in can handle that inning of the game." And Offerman, whose show has to now wait in the NBC wings until someone gets pulled, is taking the high road. "As much as I would love to haze anyone, TV is such a rough business, I think hugs are the order of the day," he said. "Welcoming handshakes." With any luck, the unexpected time off might even give him a chance to join his wife, Megan Mullally, for a guest shot on Party Down. "They actually tried to get me to do a couple episodes but I couldn’t because of my show. But as soon as I get a chance, I’ll be sneaking in there to make an ass of myself in some way," he said. If it happens, Offerman said that because of his obligations to Parks and Rec, he'd have to be a one-time party guest or host, "unless I become a waiter and immediately get killed off."

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images