The renewal itself wasn't a shock, despite the comedy's low ratings on Thursday night. "Parks and Recreation" has rebounded from mixed-to-negative reviews when it premiered last spring to become one of the most critically adored half-hours on TV.
What was a bit surprising was the earliness of the order. Despite those rave reviews, "Parks and Recreation" has generally finished fourth in its Thursday 8:30 slot, behind CBS, ABC and FOX and only slightly ahead of The CW's "Vampire Diaries." According to TheWrap, which first broken the renewal story, there were "production timing issues" that made the early pickup a necessity.
The "Parks and Recreation" team expressed its enthusiasm on Twitter.
Wrote Aziz Ansari, "Parks & Rec has been picked up for a 3rd season! (on the condition we air The Mentalist in a tiny box on the lower right)."
Tweeted series co-creator Mike Schur, "When I announced the season 3 pick-up, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) literally ripped his shirt off. Buttons went everywhere. It was amazing."
In addition to Ansari and Offerman, "Parks and Recreation" stars Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Paul Schneider, Chris Pratt and Aubrey Plaza.