If you've been a TV comedy fan within the past ten years, chances are that Mike Schur is behind one of your favorite shows. An original writer and producer on the American Office, Schur currently serves as co-creator of two major network comedies starring SNL alums with Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine and NBC's Parks and Recreation, which kicks off its seventh and final season tonight. Ahead of the Parks season premiere, I talked with Schur about how he approached the end of the Amy Poehler-starring show, what he thinks of the future of major network sitcoms, and what separates a successful final season from the rest.
Leslie Knope has been through a lot since we first met her at Pawnee's Parks and Recreation office back in 2009. She's cycled through jobs, relationships, and personal challenges, always coming out with a hyper-optimism that is rarely displayed in modern sitcom characters. This season we watched her hit her highest highs and lowest lows, and, if the final minutes of last night's season finale are any indication, her struggles over the last six seasons were totally worth it.
"First of all, those overnight ratings are very silly, and we all need to stop reporting them and caring about them … Obviously, what matters is how networks can make money from ratings, but this is the system we have invented, where you can watch episodes of most shows on many different platforms at your absolute leisure, and yet we are still using a system that measures only the people who watched it the second it aired. It's like measuring album sales based on who bought the album within ten minutes of its release."
-Mike Schur, co-creator of Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, to Hitfix on how meaningless overnight [...]
"Groundhog Day is a perfect movie, and in every fractal and crazy looping folding scene you sense his steady hand at the wheel, ushering you along, keeping everything in focus. All of his movies had that calm, the assurance that what he had written, or directed, or both, was good and interesting and built well. That there was no need to strain and mug and beg for laughs like Daffy Duck, heaving at the end of a furious tap dance routine, arms splayed, begging for audience approval. Ramis never tap-danced. He presented his case, joyfully, confidently, a world-class funny Normal Person director and actor and writer: Here, everyone, I made [...]
Few writers in the TV world pull off creating two shows that are on the air at the same time, but Mike Schur just became part of that club. The Parks and Recreation co-creator's new series, the Andy Samberg cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, premieres tonight on Fox. Schur co-created the ensemble show with longtime Parks writer Dan Goor, and it's one of the most promising comedies of the new TV season. I had the chance to talk to Mike Schur last week about what to expect from Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine-Nine this season, why he hated playing Mose on The Office, adapting Infinite Jest into a movie, [...]