Paul Schneider leaving cast of 'Parks and Recreation'

Paul Schneider, who plays city planner Mark Brendanawicz on Parks and Recreation, will be leaving the show, co-creator and executive producer Mike Schur tells the LA Times. Schneider, the show’s ever-patient straight man and boyfriend to Rashida Jones’ Ann Perkins, will depart this season, but may return in the future.

“In the wake of Bright Star and winning a lot of awards,” says Schur, “Paul now has this film career that is just taking off in a big way. And the movie opportunities he’s getting are incredibly cool, interesting movies, not the summer blockbuster movies that can be scheduled around TV actors when they need to be… But the goal and the aim is to have him come back as soon as his schedule permits and as soon as the arcs we’re writing call for it.”

“He’s not going to be killed in some weird accident,” Schur promises.

As previously reported, Adam Scott and Rob Lowe are poised to join the P&R cast.

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  • Ambient Lite

    Yesssss!!!

    • NBA JAMMMMMMMM

      This guy was the lamest part of the show – clearly Tom/Ron/Leslie are the stars of the show – starting to get annoyed by the emo girl.

      • Ambient Lite

        Really? I like April, and I’m especially enjoying her odd crush on Andy.

      • NBA JAMMMMMMMM

        @Ambient Lite – April can be okay at times, but she starts to feel like a one note character, I love Andy though, forgot to add him to my list of Tom/Ron/Leslie. I also think they need to get rid of Ann – she seems out of place and not contributing to the show.

      • madd

        I actually think April is going beyond being a one-note character this season. Ann’s okay when she’s just hanging out with Leslie, but that relationship had to end one way or another.

      • Ryan Okinake

        I wish Tom would leave. Tom + Ron = (Office Dwight * 2) and that’s too much annoyance from supporting playors.

        I say Aubrey Plaza is the MVP of the show.

      • anne crombie

        Really wish you would have not removed Mark. You need one sane person to balance alittle. I do love this show,but miss Mark. Not finding Lowe and the other guy much more than a waste of time.

    • Ceballos

      That pretty much sums up my feelings, Ambient.

      Now I’m hoping they’ll let Rashida go too, so she can move on to a show where she actually gets to be funny.

      • Ambient Lite

        I’m not ready to let her go…she slipped away from me on The Office, I don’t know if I can go through it again. Maybe there’s some hope if she were paired with someone funny on Parks and Rec??

      • Ceballos

        See, I care about her too much to see her continue to be stuck in such a stick in the mud mode.

        Besides, what excuse is Ann going to have to hang around the office now that Mark is going to be gone? (I suppose she could start dating Andy again, which we know he’d be down for, but that would break my heart and April’s heart simultaneously.)

      • Ambient Lite

        I guess it’s a little weak to keep her around solely as Leslie’s buddy, what with the pit link no longer there. And I am NOT willing to see her with Andy either.
        Okay. If you love it, let it go. I’ll brace myself…

      • Fatima

        I want Rashida to stick around too. She’s been funny and without Mark she could have the chance again. They just need a reason to have her there.

      • Ceballos

        Fatima-

        I would like Rashida to stick around too, insofar as I like having Rashida Jones on my TV every week. It’s just that other than the practice date scene from earlier this season, she hasn’t been allowed to bring anything to the table on this show.

        I mean, look at the latest episode. She was in the beginning, “left town”, and showed up at the end right before the credits. COMPLETELY disposable, and I just think Rashida is better than that.

        Then again, the writers on this show are doing a great job, so maybe they can come up with something good for her. (Perhaps involving the characters played by Adam Scott or Rob Lowe.)

      • Alan

        Yeah, but think about it, when was she ever really funny? On the Office she was pretty much the same as Ann, a hard-working, good-looking, but very normal “straight man” character. Even on the film “I Love You, Man” she was the boring, straight-man “girlfriend” character. I like Rashida Jones, but comedy isn’t really her thing. She’s not, oh I don’t know the term, quirky enough?

      • Ceballos

        I hear ya Alan, Rashida’s never really been a barrel of laughs. (At least not in the same way someone like Amy Poehler is.)

        However, (in “The Office” especially) she at least came off as cool, sweet and charismatic. By the end of her stint, I felt bad that she was the rebound girl. In “Parks and Rec”, she’s none of those things, really…she’s just blah.

      • JaySin420

        I love Parks and I totally agree about Rashida.

        I thought maybe the office writers weren’t using her properly but she’s by far the worst part of Parks.

        I liked Mark a lot but I’m sure Rob Lowe will be even better.

      • Kathryn J.

        Rashida Jones is a very good actor, both comic and dramatic, and she’s been asked to play “the straight man” to showcase Amy Poehler’s comedic talents. Jones is funny when she’s allowed. It’s called acting. They should dump Lowe, make Mark more interesting (bc Paul Schneider is sexy) and Ann should beg HIM to marry her — Mark would then be the straight man to Ann, and Jones could then employ her comedic talents. Plus, damn you, Rashida Jones for making me lose all concentration while driving. You owe me 3′ of picket fence and a garage door, or the equivalent of the aforementioned and you know why.

  • tomas

    Thank god…he was so much the weak link on the show.

  • Ramo

    I like him as an actor but his character was going nowhere on that show. I wouldn’t be all that sad to see Rashida Jones go either. The two of them just don’t work anymore, especially compared to Leslie’s MUCH funnier office co-workers.

    • Diggity

      Agreed- Donna, April, Andy, Jerry, Tom, RON!

      • Ramo

        Regarding Andy, the writers have done a great job making him a sympathetic, likeable character this season, compared to the irritating lump he was in season 1.

    • Johnification

      According to the full interview that they’re pulling excerpts from, this is the beginning of Mark’s true arc on the show. According to the writers, the person Mark is based on grew fed up with his gov’t job and quit for the private sector, only to become sick of that and come back to government several times over. It seems a realistic kind of arc with a lot of comic potential, which will hopefully add to the lasting appeal of the character even if we see him a lot less.

      • Molly

        I actually like the sound of that. I love Paul Schneider, but I hated Mark and Ann as a couple…the relationship was boring and out of place for this show.

  • G

    Adam Scott is joining? I thought it was just Rob Lowe. The cool quotiant of this show just went up a few points.

  • Lizabeth

    I really like Paul Schneider and Mark, but I’m not totally sad to see him go. The relationship between Mark and Ann is seriously boring. I want Rashida Jones to have some fun!

    • Hernan Giaggio

      Lizabeth speaks for me.

  • dirtyvicar

    That’s fine. He’s the least interesting part of the show. (BTW, I liked Bright Star and all, but I wouldn’t exactly call that the start of a burgeoning movie career.) This show excels thanks to Andy, Ron, and Tom.

    • Fatima

      He’s really good in Bright Star and he was in The Assassination of Jesse James too. I think if he keeps picking roles like that, he’ll do fine.

    • Nick

      Schnieder actually has some indie-film cred going as far back as “All the Real Girls” and “Lars and the Real Girl” – he’s a pretty fantastic actor but didn’t quite mesh with Pawnee…

  • RK

    “In the wake of Bright Star and winning a lot of awards,”…huh? I have no idea what they are talking about. Someone needs a reality check. As long as they don’t lose the best character, Ron Swanson.

    • The Dude

      While Schneider hasn’t really done any blockbuster movies, he’s done a variety of work on the indie scene, and it’s gotten to the point that he’s one of the more sought after actors on the indie market (a market where numerous big-name stars got their start). I wouldn’t say anyone needs a reality check…Schneider’s career is just lifting off, and if he stays full-time on P&R he’ll lose an opportunity that might not come again.

      • NBA JAMMMMMMMM

        Its not like he is pulling a Shelley Long or anything, he is not that integral to the show.

  • Al

    I assume this would mean less Rashida Jones’ character too. It is kind of ridiculous for her to hang around the office but, at least with her boyfriend there, she had a semi-excuse.

    • Alan

      I agree. I like Rashida Jones but if they don’t give her more of a reson for being there, I don’t see her staying either. And now that her on-screen boyfriend is leaving, why is she on the show?

      • Ambient Lite

        She was Leslie’s friend first, she would continue to be Leslie’s friend.

      • Alan

        Yeah, but this is primarily a workplace comedy and every storyline pretty much revolves around the workplace. Now with the Pit storyline pretty much dead, they do need to expand the Ann character. She’s pretty dull and indefinable anyway. I get that Lesley needs a “straight man” to offset her neurotic crazyness, but they still need to give Ann a reason for being on the show.

      • English Major

        I have just started wondering why Rasida’s character is always hanging around the government office when she is a nurse. It is just really out of place and ackward. I had wrote it off to small town life but even there it would be weird.

      • English Major

        Oops – I mean “I had written it off” – yikes!

  • damnmonkey

    I have a feeling Rashida Jones will leave too.

    • JustMe

      Me, too…love her, but her she’s wasted on this show. The other characters are so strong and loveable that she’s lost in the shuffle.

  • DocRules

    That makes me kind of sad… I’m probably the only one, but I really dislike Tom.

    • Fatima

      Do you dislike funny?

      • Ryan Okinake

        I don’t dislike funny. I dislike ick. Tom is like an ickier Dwight that is half as funny.

  • roomtone

    i liked the mark character because he was the straight man, and he outed duke silver. please, not rob lowe. he can’t be a character, he’s only rob lowe.

  • Susan

    Not shocking news that Paul Schneider is leaving. It was just a matter of time. I agree with the other comments that I see Rashida Jones leaving or being written off. I think now that P&R has found its comic groove and is starting to gel, I think the creators and writers are starting to get a better picture of who works and who is not.

  • Allison

    I just watched him in Bright Star this weekend. It took me awhile to even recognize him. He was quite good in it and I’m not surprised by the news especially since his character seemed to have little to do.

    • Elizabeth

      I too just watched Bright Star and the whole time I wondered where I knew him from. He was so different than on P&R and he was really good. So, I could see him moving on to better characters – he’s definitely a better actor than what they give him to work with on P&R.

  • AntonioSaucedo

    I love this show and as far as I’m concerned it can do no wrong. Rashida and Paul are the Bud Abbotts and the rest of the cast are the Lou Costellos. And you need both types of comedians to make it work. I’ll miss Mark.

  • J.

    Good for him!

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