Parks and Recreation, informally known as Parks and Rec, is an American political comedy television sitcom starring Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks Department of Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana. Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, the series aired on NBC from April 9, 2009 to February 24, 2015, for 125 episodes, over seven seasons. It was written by the same writers and uses the same filming style as The Office, with the same implication of a documentary crew filming everyone. The ensemble and supporting cast feature Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins, Paul Schneider as Mark Brendanawicz, Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford, Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate, Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer, Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt, Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger, Jim O'Heir as Garry "Jerry" Gergich, Retta as Donna Meagle, and Billy Eichner as Craig Middlebrooks.
The writers researched local California politics for the show, and consulted with urban planners and elected officials. Poehler's character, Leslie Knope, underwent major changes after the first season, in response to audience feedback that she seemed unintelligent and "ditzy". The writing staff incorporated current events into the episodes, such as a government shutdown in Pawnee inspired by the real-life global financial crisis of 2007–2008. Several guest stars, such as Jason Mantzoukas, Kathryn Hahn, Sam Elliott, Bill Murray, Megan Mullally, Louis C.K., Paul Rudd, Henry Winkler, and Jon Hamm, have been featured in the show, and their characters often appear in multiple episodes.
Parks and Recreation was part of NBC's "Comedy Night Done Right" programming during its Thursday night prime-time block. The series received mixed reviews during its first season, but, after a re-approach to its tone and format, the second and subsequent seasons were widely acclaimed. Throughout its run, Parks and Recreation received several awards and nominations, including two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, six Primetime Emmy Award nominations, a Golden Globe Award win for Poehler's performance, and a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. In TIME's 2012 year-end lists issue, Parks and Recreation was named the number one television series of that year. In 2013, after receiving four consecutive nominations in the category, Parks and Recreation won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.