NBC has announced that a new Parks and Rec digital series will be streaming online on February 20, along with three other NBC shows.
Getting the rights to the Winter or Summer Olympics is an absolute ratings coup for any network. But the 24/7 nature of the games’ coverage means that fans of that network go without some of their favorite shows for three to four weeks.
NBC has attempted to satisfy the fans of some its shows by announcing mini “digital series” of Parks and Recreation, Grimm, Parenthood and Chicago Fire that will run exclusively online on NBC.com, Hulu and YouTube.
The Parks and Rec series will be called “The Hapley Group” and will be staged as a series of debates from famous Pawnee-ans on one of Perd Hapley’s many, many shows. Crazy Ira (Nick Kroll), The Douche (Matt Besser) and Joan Callamezzo (Mo Collins) will all be a part of Perd’s roundtable. New character Mike Patterson (Seth Morris) will also be joining. “The Hapley Group” begins Thursday, February 20.
This sounds like an excellent little addition to the Parks and Rec canon. Pawnee always has plenty going on and listening to some of its most prominent media members discuss politics would be more than enough for a full series.
The digital series is also an indication of how far Parks and Rec has come at NBC. It was a show that was a threat to be canceled as recently as last season, but it is now a midseason renewal and included as one of four shows NBC wants to expand upon in digital media.
The Chicago Fire digital series “I Am a Firefighter” will debut tomorrow, February 11. Parenthood’s “Friday Night at the Luncheonette” will debut Thursday, February 13 and will be a crossover from creator Jason Katims’ other NBC hit Friday Night Lights. Jesse Plemons (Landry Clarke) and Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins) guest star. And Grimm’s series, the aptly named “Love is in the Air,” will stream on Valentine’s Day.