Friday, January 16, 2009

Planning meets primetime!

Fans of Greg Daniels, Amy Poehler, SNL, The Office, and surprisingly city planning and the Hoosier state have something to look forward to! Speculation has been all over the boards about Amy Poehler's TV show since she left SNL. It was originally slated to be a spin-off of The Office. Looks like they are keeping the mockumentary type concept, but situating it in a City Hall in fictional Pawnee, Indiana. One of the characters is supposed to be "charismatic city planner Mark Brendanawicz, whose outlook has been soured by 15 years of public service." Hey, that could be me! I'm looking for a contact name and number at NBC to try to get on as a consultant! Maybe my 10 years of small town Indiana government work is valuable in Hollywood?! Anyone have any leads? They say California is the place you outta be! I'm guess this will be must see TV in our house.

From e-online:

Amy Poehler Show Details Finally Revealed!

Thu., Jan. 15, 2009 4:42 PM PST by Kristin Dos Santos

The Untitled Amy Poehler Show, one of the most highly anticipated new shows of the season, still doesn't have a real title, but it does have scoop! For example, Amy Poehler says of the show, set against the backdrop of small-town government, "There is a scene in the show when they are trying to come up with a name for their council, and they say the name is crucial." Hee!

Seriously, though, we just heard from Poeher, her costars and producers, and here's what this show is all about...

The documentary cameras follow Leslie Knope (Poehler), a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. In an attempt to beautify her town—and advance her career—Leslie takes on what should be a fairly simple project: help local nurse Ann Logan (Rashida Jones) turn an abandoned construction pit into a community park. Opposing them are defensive bureaucrats, selfish neighbors, real estate developers and single-issue fanatics—whose weapons are lawsuits, the jumble of city codes and the very democratic process that Leslie loves so much.

Leslie is alternately helped and undermined by her colleague, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), who cheerfully exploits his government position for personal gain. She is also thwarted by her boss Ron Swanson, who is philosophically opposed to government in any form.

If they can pull it off, Leslie hopes that she also will have inspired her uninterested college intern April (Aubrey Plaza) and April's whole generation—all while moving one step closer to her ultimate goal: becoming the first female president of the United States.

Amy Poehler for president? Hell yes. But don't be fooled. According to cocreator Greg Daniels, this is not a grandiose enterprise: "If the setting is very ordinary, the characters can shine against that. I'm interested in doing character comedy. We're keeping the background really plain so the humor of the actors is set off nicely."

Indeed, it sounds like there's a definite Tracy Flick thing going on with Leslie:

According to Amy, "I think in most comedies the lead character suffers from not being self-aware. Leslie is an optimist, and she's really ambitious, she's hoping the place she is now is not that place she is going to stay. I think we're supposed to like her, but I do think she decides, she wants to run with the big boys, and you have to take the hits. It's going to be very easy to humiliate and be mean to me on this show. It's going to make you feel good. You'll see people be mean to me, you'll be satisfied."

No word yet on other actors or castmembers for those open roles, but I can tell you one star who won't be appearing. Amy's husband, Will Arnett, told us exclusively on Tuesday, "I will not do a guest spot on their show until they get a title. I will not do an untitled show! Sorry, that's just me, but you know, get a title, OK? Get a title! Disgusting."

Right? What should they call the show? Post your suggestions in the comments!

—Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams and Jennifer Godwin

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