‘Parks and Recreation’ Almost Had a Very Different Name

'Parks and Recreation' cast members Jim O'Heir, Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, and Retta for our article about how the show almost had a different name.


NBC comedy Parks and Rec was initially meant to be a spinoff of The Office.Parks and Recreation nearly went by a completely different name.The creators scrapped the original name so they wouldn’t offend anyone.

L-R: Jim O’Heir, Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, and Retta | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Parks and Recreation is one of the most beloved comedies of the 2010s, and the NBC series remains notable today. Just name-drop the show, and television lovers will think of characters like Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) almost immediately. However, fans may not know that Parks and Recreation nearly went by a different name. It landed on its current title because the creators didn’t want to offend the public servants they were depicting on-screen.

‘Parks and Recreation’ was going to be a spinoff of ‘The Office’

Throwback to 2009 when the pit was unfilled and Andy had two broken legs. pic.twitter.com/y78jR5da34

— Parks and Recreation (@parksandrec) November 18, 2022

Before we get into the alternate title for Parks and Recreation, it’s worth noting that the NBC series almost had a very different setup. According to sites like Screen Rant and Mental Floss, it was initially meant to be a spinoff of The Office. Parks and Rec creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur both worked on the other NBC series first. As such, the network asked them to create another story based on it.

Soon enough, Daniels and Schur realized Parks and Rec could — and should — stand on its own. However, they went through several ideas for an Office spinoff before they came to that decision. One of them almost saw a broken copy machine tying the two comedies together. They eventually chose to leave the two worlds separate, though Parks and Rec still utilized some of The Office‘s style choices and humor.

In addition to almost having a different premise, Parks and Recreation nearly had a different name as well. So, what else could the NBC series have been called?

What was the different name the creators had in mind for ‘Parks and Recreation’?

It’s hard to imagine Parks and Recreation going by a different name, but the NBC show was nearly called Public Service.

According to an archived piece from The New York Times, the title of NBC’s sitcom remained up in the air for some time before it debuted. Public Service was a strong contender. But ultimately, co-chair of NBC Entertainment, Ben Silverman, decided it could be perceived as offensive to public-service workers.

“Can’t make fun of public service!” Silverman said in an email obtained by the NYT. “Worried because we don’t want to seem mean about it.”

In the end, it seems Parks and Recreation proved the less risky choice. And now, it’s become known by that title — so, clearly, it all worked out in the end!

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Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet.


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