Parks and Recreation stars Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe are both leaving the show following the upcoming sixth season’s 13th episode, Buzzfeed reports. No reason is cited for the two actors’ abrupt departure, but both actors both have busy schedules full of other projects outside of the NBC series. Season five of the show ended with Jones and Lowe’s respective characters Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger continuing to try to have a baby together, so we’ll see if that plotline has something to do with their characters’ exits. Parks and Rec’s sixth season is set to premiere Thursday, September 26th, with an hour-long episode set in London featuring guest stars Henry Winkler and Heidi Klum. Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones’s last episode is expected to air midway through the season right around February sweeps.
This is pretty surprising news as both characters are big parts of the show. Sitcom contracts for actors are usually for seven seasons, but it looks like Jones and Lowe are leaving before that point like Donald Glover, who is set to exit NBC’s Community during its upcoming season. This isn’t the only casting change happening on Parks and Rec this season. Chris Pratt, who plays Andy Dwyer, will be only appearing in a select number of episodes in the first half of season six because he’s busy playing the lead role in the Marvel superhero movie Guardians of the Galaxy, but he’s expected to return full-time after that.