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MTV

MTV To Hold Socially Distanced VMAs At Barclays Center

The coronavirus pandemic has truly shut down the entertainment industry indefinitely. Television and movie studios have halted production on all projects, Broadway/major theater productions have been closed, and all major award shows cancelled; at least until now. This week BET managed to show the world that not only were award shows still possible in a virtual context, but could also be extremely successful. Now, other major shows are inspired to provide some entertainment to the nation while it endures such a difficult time. 

MTV’s annual Video Music Award show typically takes place the last week of August every year. A few weeks ago it was predicted that the VMAs would likely be either cancelled or digital, but recently, the city of New York announced that the show would be doing neither.

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Instead, the VMAs will be returning to New York City’s Barclays Center this August, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. In a news conference this week Cuomo claimed that the show would bring together music fans worldwide like it always does, and pay homage to the strength, spirit, and resilience of NYC and its residents. 

The show will also provide performances from artists in remote locations throughout all five boroughs of the city. Bruce Gillmer, the president of music, music talent, programming and events for ViacomCBS Media Networks, which produces the show, recently made a statement reacting to the news. 

“We’re elated to bring the 2020 ‘VMAs back to NYC, the cultural mecca of the world where music and entertainment are woven into the DNA.”

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Like most industries that have begun to reopen throughout the country, the VMA’s is going to have to endure some major adjustments in order to properly navigate hosting a whole award show during a global pandemic. MTV made a recent statement in which they claimed that the health and safety of all “artists, fans, industry, staff, and partners is of the utmost importance.” 

“Among the measures all parties involved have aligned to include extensive social distancing procedures, meaningful capacity limitations, the virtualization of components where possible, and limited capacity or no audience.”

MTV also claimed that the show’s producers and Barclays Center management has been closely working with state and local officials during the past few weeks and will continue to do so until the actual date of the show to ensure that all proper precautions are taken/followed. 

The VMAs will be the first event that the Barclays Center is hosting since the Covid-19 pandemic initially hit New York City. The center is ecstatic to be back in the game and has stated that they’re  “proud of the impact it will have on our Brooklyn community through the creation of local jobs,” referring to the hiring of additional employees to assist with the event, as well as local surrounding small businesses seeing an increase in foot traffic. 

MTV, Barclays, the state of New York, and all local/state officials will be working tirelessly for the next two months in anticipation of the show and ensuring it runs as smoothly and safely as possible.

Disneyland Sign

Disneyland Will Delay Reopening Amid Rising Covid-19 Numbers

Disneyland is among the many parks and establishments throughout the US that are shutting down again after making plans to reopen by the end of July. Initially Disneyland was projecting to reopen on July 17th, now, California, Florida, and countless other states are seeing major spikes in new Covid-19 cases which is prompting many state governments to reinstate lockdown procedures. 

In a statement posted to Disneyland’s social media platforms, the company announced that the state of California won’t issue any theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4th, however, their priorities lie more in getting the case numbers down before they think about opening up amusement parks or any other major businesses for that matter. 

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 “Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials.”

Disney continued to claim that they would be working with California officials closely in the coming weeks so that they can issue more concrete plans for a potential reopening this summer. Walt Disney World in Florida is still projecting to reopen by the end of July despite Florida being one of the many states with record-breaking single-day case numbers. Florida is especially under close observation, as the state is projected to be the next epicenter for the virus’ second-wave; much like New York City was during the initial wave of infections. 

The Downtown Disney District is still planning on reopening on July 9th, according to the statement. The reopening of this district follows the same guidelines as all other restaurants and retail openings in the state of California. For Disney World in Florida, the company is planning to reopen the first of several major theme park attractions on July 11th, however, they will need to continue to be in contact with Florida’s state government everyday in regards to new case numbers. 

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Both parks have lost millions of dollars in revenue since initially closing back in March, however, as a multi-billion dollar corporation, this hasn’t made a major economic impact for Disney. When the parks reopen, whenever that may be, visitors will also have to be prepared to abide by very strict health and safety/social distancing procedures while in the park. These measures will include wearing a mask at all times, remaining six feet apart from everyone by following markers on the ground, and character meet and greets will likely not be happening. Visitors will also be required to get their temperature checked prior to entering. 

Some attractions and events will remain shut down indefinitely until this pandemic comes to a more concrete close. Most parades and playgrounds will likely remain shutdown for the time being, and visitors will not be able to travel among multiple parks per day. 

Despite all of these health and safety measures, thousands of American citizens have signed a petition urging Disney to remain fully closed until “COVID-19 cases are no longer rising and no longer posing risk of spreading this disease to our working cast/team members, their families, and our theme park guests.” 

Florida is one of the most infected states in America currently with over 103,000 cases total. Union leaders representing around 17,000 Disneyland employees have also written a letter to the Governor arguing that it is unsafe and irresponsible to reopen the park, and more than 40,000 individuals signed a petition that came from them as well which called the companies plan to reopen “greedy.”

Another major point of contention has been the argument that even if Disney does fully reopen with every single health and safety procedure imaginable, are families really going to be willing to spend the money on a Disney ticket if they have to wear a mask and likely wait even longer for the limited rides that are available? Only time will tell if Disney will even be able to follow through with any of these plans, as we know, this virus is unpredictable, so anything can happen between now and July.

HuLu App

Hulu’s “Love, Victor” Takes The Message From “Love, Simon” Even Further

Hulu is celebrating Pride Month this week with the release of their much anticipated “Love, Simon” television spin-off program titled “Love, Victor”. The show itself directly follows up on the 2018 movie, which was the first gay teen romantic comedy produced by a major Hollywood studio.

The movie originally focused on the coming out story of Simon Spier, who’s a white middle-class teenage boy. With the Hulu series, production wanted to shift the focus to continue to follow the coming out story of a young teenage boy developing his sexuality, however, this time they’re following Victor Salazar, a Latino working-class teenager with a religious family.

“I don’t feel that anyone is 100 percent straight or 100 percent wherever you lie on the scale. I feel like sexuality is not necessarily fluid. It’s more like a spectrum. And so finding out where you lie on that is important,” says actor Michael Cimino, who plays Victor.

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Both the movie and television show take place in the same high school in Atlanta, Georgia. The storyline of the show is meant to take place a few years after the movie, and viewers will watch as Victor corresponds with Simon via text and email; just like how Simon communicated with “Blue” in the movie. His conversations with Simon are meant to cover your basic coming-of-age questions as Victor navigates figuring out his sexuality, love, and being a teenager in general.

Cimino himself is Puerto Rican and Italian, and claims that growing up in between those two cultures gave him a much deeper understanding of his character and the trials he faces coping with his sexuality and identity as a Latino as well. http://gty.im/1177776085 is the actress who plays Victor’s mom, Isabel, in the series and she’s both Puerto Rican and Irish. She also has claimed that growing up with these two cultures prepared her to play the role of the religious mother to a gay son.

“It can be difficult, because sometimes you’re not enough for one culture. And you’re not enough for the other culture. I’m not white enough for my white friends. I’m not Puerto Rican enough for my Puerto Rican friends. So who am I? What’s my place? And where do I belong,” says Ortiz.

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Ana Ortiz speaking at the 23rd Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner

One of the main conflicts the show aims to emphasize is Victor’s struggle to accept his competing identities as an individual in the LGBT+, Latino, and Catholic community. This is the reality for many Americans, in fact, a research study recently concluded that over 22 million Americans have multiracial roots/identities. So producers wanted those individuals to feel especially seen within this show.

When discussing channeling a Catholic mother with conservative ideals, Ortiz explained that she really had to “dig into and to deal with the religiosity in the character. I was raised Catholic. I consider myself Catholic, but I am also a progressive. I constantly am battling between my Catholicism and my beliefs. It’s a difficult fight within my own self.”

The release of “Love, Victor” couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time either. Not only is it Pride Month, but this week the Supreme Court decided that LGBT+ individuals were protected from being fired based on their identity. Cimino believes that sexuality and identity are lifelong journeys, and hopes the show exemplifies a positive message of progression and authenticity within America and how they view LGBT+ individuals.

Police

‘The Daily Show With Trevor Noah’ Returns With A Passionate Message About Police Brutality

Trevor Noah has joined a slew of other late night hosts who have begun using their daily platform to speak up against the current injustices America is facing as it endures two major pandemics: the coronavirus and racism.

Racial Equality

Celebrities Use Blackout Tuesday To Protest Racial Inequality In Entertainment Industry

Amid the multiple Black Lives Matter protests currently occurring in all 50 states, many celebrities have begun using their platforms to speak out against police brutality, racism, and justice for black people in this country who have been abused by the system for the color of their skin. Multiple celebrities are publicly donating and sharing links with their followers as a means of spreading awareness, while others are telling their followers what not to do if they really want to contribute towards the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Most recently, musicians specifically led a call for constructive responses to George Floyd’s death after speaking up against a movement that flooded Instagram feeds with black squares and no real useful information. The social media “event” was titled by the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday, which would be posted under a photo of a black screen. The blank images took over feeds and individuals quickly realized how counterproductive the movement actually was. 

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Originally, the movement was started by Jamila Thomas, a senior director of marketing at Atlantic Records, and Brianna Agyemand, a former Atlantic executive, “in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard” under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused. 

However, individuals quickly misconstrued the original meaning and began posting the black screens with other hashtags having to do with the movement; such as #BLM, #BlackLivesMatter, etc. This caused all of those hashtag pages to be filled with useless black screens when previously it was filled with useful information and resources to help those fighting for racial equality right now. 

Artists like Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Kehlani were quick to call out how unproductive and useless it was to post black screens, essentially “silencing” the entire movement for a day. 

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“I just really think this is the time to push as hard as ever, I don’t think the movement has ever been this powerful. We don’t need to slow it down by posting nothing. We need to spread info and be as loud as ever. What if we posted donation and petitions links on Instagram all at the same time instead of pitch-black images,” Nas X tweeted. 

“Please don’t use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter because it is flooding the hashtag search,” Lizzo, who’s from Minneapolis herself, said in an Instagram video.

“While I do appreciate the idea … don’t y’all think getting off our form of communicating with each other, sharing info, seeing news … for a whole day … in the middle of a war on us … is kinda dangerous? By all means don’t spend. But we need each other on HERE. Anything could go down wit no ability to warn each other/help each other,” California singer Kehlani tweeted. 

Kehlani also continued to bring up the original meaning behind the movement and how the hashtag is really meant to be #TheShowMustBePaused. Thomas and Agyemang then responded by discussing how the music industry itself is a multi-billion dollar industry that has consistently “profited from black art. The mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations and their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles, and successes of black people, accountable.” 

Other musicians joined the movement through donation and, including R&B/Hip-Hop star The Weeknd, who recently donated half a million dollars to various organizations fighting for racial equality. Celebrities with a large platform have been called on by their fans, but also their fellow musicians, actors, directors, etc. If you have a voice, now’s the time to use it. 

If you want to know more about the Black Lives Matter movement and how you can directly help from home, click here for access to dozens of petitions, donation pages, and fundraising efforts specifically for those fighting for racial equality right now.

Disney Parks

Disney World And Other Major Theme Parks Set Official Reopening Dates

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began impacting the United States in March, all major theme parks have been indefinitely closed. Now, Disney, Universal, and other major theme parks around the country are gearing up to reopen as early as June. In Florida specifically, Disney recently presented a business plan to local government officials that would allow the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom to open on July 11th, and have Hollywood Studios and Epcot open on July 15th. 

The parks won’t be returning to normalcy, however, in fact they have a list of new health and safety measures to ensure that everyone remains as safe as possible while in the park. Things like character meet and greets, parades, and any other event that would attract a large crowd to gather in one area of the park will continue to remain cancelled. 

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Individuals who want to go to the parks also must reserve tickets for when they plan on making their trip, as park capacity will also be limited to ensure physical social distancing practices can still occur. Wearing masks and temperature checks will also be required for park entry. These policies have already been implemented in other locations like Disney Springs, which is a shopping and dining center near the park that began a loose reopening last week. 

“As we all must work together to promote the health and safety of everyone, cast members as well as guests 3 years of age and older will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; cast members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas,” Disney Parks’s Thomas Smith wrote Wednesday on the official Disney Parks Blog

Disney’s plans haven’t been fully approved by local and state governments yet, although it’s expected that no one will have an issue with these new measures. There’s no solid opening date for Disneyland in Southern California, however, other major theme park names have also announced they’ll be reopening in the coming months under new Covid-19 safety guidelines. 

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Universal Studio Hollywood has had a “closed at least though May 31st” banner on their website since they initially closed down back in March. Now, the Orlando parks, which includes Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay, announced their aiming to reopen on June 5th. Like Disney World, guests will have to abide by new guidelines that include wearing a mask, and temperature checks upon arrival. Everyone will also be asked to follow floor markings as they travel throughout the park to keep everyone six feet apart. 

Legoland also announced this week that they’re aiming to reopen their San Diego location on July 1st. 

“The plan is based on guidance from the CDC and gives details on personal protective equipment, social distancing measures, cleaning and sanitation protocols, work and sick policies, employee screenings, COVID training and customer communication including signage and website messaging. The safety and health of our employees and guests is the top priority for all San Diego attractions and we can’t wait to be back open,” a Legoland representative told a local San Diego paper.

The Florida Legoland resort is planning on reopening their waterpark attractions on June 1st, and will only require guests to wear masks. It will be interesting to see how many individuals actually take the time to go through all of these new measures in the coming months, however, like with every aspect of this pandemic only time will tell how things will change.

Broadway Sign

Steven Speilberg Is Bringing Hit TV Show “Smash” To Broadway

“Smash” was a NBC TV drama series that only lasted for two seasons, but for those two years that it was on television, it gained a loyal, yet small, fanbase that to this day has been waiting for some sort of revival from the beloved series. “Smash” has been off the air for about seven years now (its last episode premiered in May of 2013), however, it’s looking like fans will be thrilled to learn that their favorite show will be revived, but in a much more lively way.

Steven Spielberg, Robert Greenblatt (the chairman for WarnerMedia Entertainment), and Neil Meron (who produced the Broadway production of “Chicago” recently), all announced that they would be working on a new project titled “Smash, A New Musical,” and the three are looking for it to find its home on the Broadway stage. 

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Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are the Tony and Grammy-winning duo who wrote and produced over two dozen songs for the original television series, and they will also be returning to their former “Smash” roles through creating the score for the Broadway production. 

The Broadway production is meant to mimic the series in the sense that it will be a stage show that “will follow the efforts to mount ‘Bombshell,’ the Broadway musical-within-a-musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe,” according to Spielberg. However, the creators also want to make sure that the plot deviates from the original series so it’s not overly predictable, especially for those loyal die-hard fans that will surely be lining up down the block the second Broadway is reopened. 

The characters of Julia, Tom, Ivy, and Karen (portrayed in the television production by Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, and Katharine McPhee), will all be in the play production, and will be just as central to its storyline as the television series. Besides those key details, Speilberg and his team are trying to keep other aspects of the play under wraps until the play is actually able to open. 

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Bob Martin, who helped write the Tony winning music ‘The Prom’, and Rick Elice, known for his writing in “Peter and the Starcatcher”, will be writing the musical’s book itself, and Joshua Bergasse, who has won an Emmy for his work choreographing the “Smash” television show, will also be returning to choreograph the play as well. 

“I am personally thrilled to be a part of this musical and its road to Broadway, ’Smash’ is near and dear to my heart, and it seems fitting that a new musical inspired by what we did on the show would eventually come to the stage. I’m beyond thrilled to be working with this incredible creative team and my producing partners, who began the ‘Smash’ journey with me over ten years ago,” said Spielberg, whose original idea led to the NBC series in 2012. 

When it was on TV, “Smash” was pretty well-received by critics, however, due to backstage conflicts between the show’s creative team and Theresa Rebeck, the show’s creator, which led to her quitting, the show suffered and lost a majority of its audience. Since then, the series circle of supporters has only gotten larger, as the show has begun to appear on a multitude of streaming services since going off the air. 

Obviously, there’s no real timeline as to when this revived “Smash” production will hit the Broadway stage, because there’s no real timeline for when Broadway will reopen in general amid the Covid-19 pandemic. For now, fans can rewatch the series online while we wait.

Girl Watching Movie on Couch

Movie Series You Should Watch In Quarantine

Enduring the coronavirus pandemic and remaining indoors for an indefinite amount of time is truly like something we’ve never experienced before. Finding ways to pass the time has been the largest struggle for many of us, so it’s no surprise that binge-watching our favorite television shows and movies on the multitude of streaming platforms that exist now has been one of the most popular options. 

While it’s important to get up and move your body everyday, even being stuck inside, there’s nothing wrong with just vegging out on the couch and finally watching that movie series you’ve been putting off for years. I mean, generally speaking, there has quite literally never been a better time to watch every movie in a series. And with everything going on in the world, we all could use the distractions, so where should you start? 

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The Lord Of the Rings Trilogy: This binge-session is not for the faint of heart, and being a Sci-Fi/Hobbit fan, is a little bit of a requirement. If you’re looking for a really long marathon that can last over multiple days in quarantine you found your series. Each movie well exceeds three hours, but takes its time developing each character’s story arc, again, if this is your type of industry, this trilogy is for you. 

Mission Impossible: The super spy franchise consistently starring Tom Cruise gives the same type of extreme action movie energy as other films like the James Bond or Jason Bourne movies. The films give off that romanticized secret spy story line with many explosions, intense physical altercations, and of course, high-tech gadgets. 

Friday The 13th: If you’re a horror film fanatic and you haven’t seen all the original Friday the 13th movies then you may need to be stripped of your title. Not only are there well over 8 movies in this series (some by varying directors), but you can literally watch the progression of how horror  movies are created by starting with the original film from 1980, and finishing with the most recent installment starring Jared Padalecki, which was released in 2009. 

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The Dark Knight Trilogy: Christian Bale was arguably one of the best Batman’s and the Dark Knight trilogy is one of the best Batman installments to hit the superheroes film archive. If you’ve already seen these three movies, you already know that you’ll have no problem re-watching them because of how amazingly written and filmed the series was. If you want to scratch your DC itch but have already watched this trilogy recently, try deep diving into all the other Batman movie installments, starting with the original Batman film from 1989, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. 

The LEGO Movies: If you’re quarantined with your kids, teenagers, or even young-adult children, the LEGO movies really are enjoyable for all age groups. The colorful animation, classic jokes, and heartfelt storytelling gives it’s audiences some much needed light-hearted, wholesome entertainment. The best part is there’s four movies to choose from! And while you don’t necessarily have to watch them all in order, you definitely should. 

Back To The Future: Finally, we’re ending with one of the most classic trilogies to be birthed from the 1980’s (even though the last film was released in 1990). This trilogy follows iconic duo Marty McFly and Doc, his mad scientist best friend who finally was able to invent a time machine. Each movie has the same basis of going to the past, the future, and then back to one or the other, or both, however, each film has its own specific plots to make each one unique, the third installment takes on a more Western genre if you can believe it.

AMC IMAX

AMC Theaters Cuts Ties With Universal Pictures After “Trolls World Tour” Digital Release

AMC Theaters and Universal Pictures have been involved in quite the feud throughout this entire coronavirus pandemic. Things seemed to hit a boiling point this week as well, as AMC announced that they no longer would be playing movies from Universal, which is one of the biggest studios in Hollywood today. 

This all started when Universal made the decision to release their most recent animated feature, “Trolls World Tour,” directly on premium video on-demand services, as well as a few drive-in theaters throughout the country. The studio made this decision amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact that all movie theaters in America essentially shut down the same week that the movie was originally scheduled to be released in theaters. 

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“Trolls World Tour” actually did amazing numbers for Universal, especially considering the movie was directly released for at-home viewing. This led to Universal making a victorious statement once the initial week of the movie’s release turned out to be a massive success. Within this statement, NBCUniversal’s CEO Jeff Shell insinuated that the studio would potentially begin releasing some movies in theaters and on-demand in the future once this pandemic subsides. This was interpreted by AMC as a direct threat. 

This statement also followed an announcement that Universal’s newest movie, “The King Of Staten Island” starring Pete Davidson, would also be directly released onto on-demand services. AMC and other major theater chains throughout the country were less than pleased hearing these pieces of news back to back. 

“This radical change by Universal to the business model that currently exists between our two companies represents nothing but downside for us and is categorically unacceptable to AMC Entertainment. Accordingly, we want to be absolutely clear, so that there is no ambiguity of any kind. AMC believes that with this proposed action to go to the home and theaters simultaneously, Universal is breaking the business model and dealings between our two companies,” AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said in a statement. 

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Which prompted Universal Pictures to respond and defend the studio to AMC and the general public. A spokesperson for Universal said:

“Our desire has always been to efficiently deliver entertainment to as wide an audience as possible. We absolutely believe in the theatrical experience and have made no statement to the contrary.”

Like any major argument, this seems to be a classic case of miscommunication fueled by the uncertainty of the future post-pandemic. AMC however, hasn’t made a clear definitive statement about the future of their relationship with Universal. The theater is mainly focusing on financial recovery, especially considering all theaters are indefinitely closed and not earning any money at the moment. 

Many major movie theaters aren’t projected to re-open until the end of this summer, and even that’s still unclear. For now, lower level employees are hoping that both AMC and Universal can put aside their differences to re-collaborate once this pandemic is over, as both corporations have been extremely mutually beneficial to each other. The goal from Universal is that AMC retracts their original aggressive declaration, and the two are able to find a happy middle ground. For now, like all things in the world right now, only time will tell how well these industries recover in a post-Covid world.

COVID-19 Hand Writing

The “Parks And Recreation” Cast Will Reunite For A Special Episode About Covid-19

Parks and Recreation was one of the most popular NBC comedies to air on the network. Now, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the cast of the show are reuniting and returning to Pawnee, Indiana for a one-time quarantine special. The half-hour scripted special is going to benefit Feeding America’s Covid-19 Response Fund and will be airing on NBC on Thursday, April 30th at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. 

“Like a lot of other people, we were looking for ways to help and felt that bringing these characters back for a night could raise some money. I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes. Our old ‘Parks and Rec’ team has put together one more 30-minute slice of (quarantined) Pawnee life and we hope everyone enjoys it. And donates!”  said executive producer Michael Schur. 

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It’s been announced that all of the original cast members will be returning for the special which is being produced by Universal TV. Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Anzari, Rashida Jones, Rob Lowe, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Jim O’heir, Retta, and Adam Scott all confirmed their roles in the special, and even hinted at several guest stars making an appearance. 

The special is projected to follow the current pandemic and will show “Pawnee’s most dedicated civil servant, Leslie Knope” as she stays connected with all of her friends during times of social distancing and quarantining. This will be the first time in 5 years that Parks and Rec fans get to see their favorite local government staff return to their TV screens. 

“In such uncertain times, we can’t think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion. A huge thank you to Mike Schur and the cast of Parks and Recreation for putting this wonderful special together and bringing a smile to all our faces while raising money for such a worthwhile cause,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. 

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A lot of the cast took to their social media to express how excited they were for the reunion special and to be given the opportunity to give everyone a little bit of happiness during these scary times. According to Chris Pratt, who played Andy on the show, the special has been filmed for some time now, and they’re all very excited to finally share it with the world. 

It makes sense that NBC would bring back one of its most beloved comedies during this time of stress and uncertainty. To put it simply, we all could use some Leslie Knope positivity during this pandemic. Parks and Recreation has previously received a Peabody Award for excellence in television programming and has been nominated for several Emmy awards. Amy Poehler even won a Golden Globe for playing Leslie Knope back in 2014. 

For the special itself, NBCUniversal and the writers/cast/producers of Parks and Recreation will be donating a total of $500,000 to Feeding America. In addition, State Farm and Subaru of America also agreed to help sponsor the special and agreed to make matching donations of $150,000 each. If you’d like to donate yourself before the special airs next week, you can visit the Feeding America website and donate any amount you like right now.