knope nbc 'Parks and Rec': Election fever is in the air, albeit a bit earlyAs Knope 2012 kicks into high gear on “Parks and Recreation,” there’s a bit of an admission its campaign manager (ok, executive producer) needs to get off his chest. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

At PaleyFest, show EP Michael Schur explains that Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) wasn’t supposed to run for higher office for another season. But then NBC made a change that accelerated the game plan.

“We had talked about this as a possible story line for Season 5. And then we were moved to a mid-season show in Season 3, and we thought ‘Alright, well f*** it, we gotta do it now because who knows what the future holds,'” Schur says. “Then once we thought about that, we realized that it would line up better with the national events and that election fever would be in the air.”

As for going down this path, producers explain that it’s actually made life easier in the writers’ room. Schur explains, “there are certain natural things that happen when you run for office.” One of those is the candidate debate.

Schur says that fans of the show will be treated to an interesting mix of candidates during the debate and that it won’t be limited to just Leslie Knope and Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd). Other participants will include the returning Brandi Maxxx (Mara Marini) as well as a gun nut (Brad Leland) and an animal rights advocate.

When it came to the topic of who will win the election, producers are understandably mum. What they would say is that fans of the show will find out the winner, so there won’t be any cliffhangers. We also know that Andy’s (Chris Pratt) band will be performing at the campaign rally.

Whether it’ll be an upbeat song or something more somber, that’s something we’ll all have to wait to find out.

Posted by:David Eckstein