Parks and Recreation is losing two of its biggest stars midway through its upcoming sixth season. Executive producer Mike Schur confirmed to Us Weekly on Wednesday, July 31, that Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe — who play Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger, respectively — will be leaving the documentary-style NBC comedy in early 2014.
Jones, 37, has been with the critically-adored show since its premiere in 2009. Lowe, 49, joined the cast at the end of its second season and was later promoted to series regular. Their characters, once romantically linked, decided to have a baby together in Season 5.
"The news about Rob and Rashida is true — they will be leaving the show after the 13th episode of the upcoming season 6," Schur said in a statement. "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 [Amy Poehler's] Leslie (and vice-versa), she'll certainly never be far from Pawnee," he said. "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."
Schur added, "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."
News of Lowe and Jones' departures was first reported by Buzzfeed. Lowe later tweeted about his exit, incorporating one of his character's favorite adverbs. "It has literally been a world class pleasure," said the star, who next plays President John F. Kennedy in National Geographic Channel's Killing Kennedy. "I'm sure Chris will take great care of. . . Ann Perkins!"
Jones, who co-wrote and starred in 2012's Celeste & Jesse Forever, has yet to comment on her departure.
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