A day in the life of "Parks and Recreation" writers

Mon Jun 7, 2010 1:51am EDT
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By Carita Rizzo

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Michael Schur stands on a balancing board, shifting his 6-foot frame from side to side as he agonizes over the best way to kill a "Parks and Recreation" romance.

Dressed in Converse sneakers, jeans and a dark-blue fleece jacket, the 34-year-old looks more like a laid-back dad on his way to a kids' soccer game than the executive producer of one-quarter of NBC's Thursday-night comedy block.

It's up to him and the half-dozen other writers in this room to solve their story problem. And they're stuck.

As he drapes himself across a couch in this windowless room on the CBS Radford lot in Studio City, Calif., gazing up at the ceiling, Schur's fellow writers stare at him in silence from their seated perches at a long wooden table. A "Rock Band" drum set is in one corner of the room, and half-eaten food lies scattered across the table, which is also strewn with white and purple note cards.

It's 12:30 p.m. and Schur and his friends have already spent three hours figuring what the hell to write on those cards.

The white ones are usually Leslie Knope's (Amy Poehler's) story lines. If it's an episode that involves a lot of intermingling, other characters' stories will be on different colored cards. Today, that color is purple and it belongs to an as-yet-named mystery couple whose TV romance will be short-lived.

The goal is for these cards to join the other note cards that snake around the room in multicolor stripes, pinned to corkboards. When the snake has a head, midsection and tail, one writer will attempt to turn it into a script.

But there's still no tail in sight. Schur isn't five words closer to tearing the lovebirds apart.   Continued...