Parks and Recreation co-creator/showrunner Mike Schur gave an interview to EW about the future of the series, and he said that he expects next year to be the show’s last, although no decision has been made:
“We haven’t talked about it with NBC officially, but for many reasons — mostly just creatively in terms of where we’re building to this year — it would be natural if next year were the last year. I mean, you never know. We thought season 3 was our last year … No decision has been made on that, but it wouldn’t surprise me if next year were the final season.”
Parks and Recreation was given an early renewal for Season 7 last month. With longtime cast members Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe having departed and the cast and crew getting super busy recently (Amy Poehler is producing Broad City and the NBC pilot Old Soul, Mike Schur co-created Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chris Pratt booked lead roles in The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Jurassic Park sequel Jurassic World, etc.) and Schur steering the writing towards a Season 7 conclusion, it makes sense for it to end next year.
As usual with Parks and Rec, this year’s season finale was originally written to be a potential series finale since ratings for the show have never been strong enough for renewal to feel guaranteed ahead of time. But when the show got renewed early for a change, here’s what Schur said happened with plans for the Season 6 finale:
“We had broken the story for the finale and we didn’t know whether it was a season finale or a series finale. Once we found out we were coming back for next season, we made a few changes. We probably worked in more cliffhangers than we would have and we altered a couple of things, but 95% of it is the exact story we had already broken. This arc that starts after the Olympics has a natural ending. We didn’t change anything about the way we ended Leslie’s year. Very big moves happen in the second half of the season, all throughout. We didn’t suddenly reverse course and go, ‘We gotta slow down.’”