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'Parks And Rec' Wedding: Leslie And Ben's Surprise Was Planned All Along

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PARKS AND REC WEDDING
Why "Parks & Rec" did a surprise wedding. | NBC
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The "Parks and Rec" wedding between Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) is almost here!

The adorable couple ties the knot on the Thursday, Feb. 21 episode after seasons of courtship with an impromptu wedding surrounded by all their friends and the citizens of Pawnee ... despite setting a spring wedding date. The surprise wedding was done purposely, according to "Parks and Rec" co-creator and executive producer Mike Schur.

"I fully believe that at this point in history after, I don't know, 65 years of sitcoms, that the only real weapon that you have as a writer/producer of a TV show is surprise," Schur told TV Guide. "We always had this plan. Andy (Chris Pratt) and April (Aubrey Plaza) got married with no warning at all."

Schur said the show didn't want to repeat the same type of surprise wedding, so they had the characters do normal wedding activities like selecting a caterer and having bachelor and bachelorette parties before having an impromptu ceremony.

"It was really just to try to do something surprising that would catch people off-guard so we starting having them talk about how their wedding date was May 16 and my hope was that savvy TV viewers would go, 'Oh that must be the season finale!' and then that was all set up to try to just sneak-attack people in February," Schur said.

NBC's "30 Rock" followed a similar trajectory. When the final season began, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) was planning Jenna Maroney's (Jane Krakowski) bachelorette party and doing wedding activities with her. At the "30 Rock" Season 7 premiere party, Karkowski told HuffPost TV it seemed the show was heading for a big finale wedding.

"I think we're heading towards that way, but I don't know how that will actually culminate. It could be, but I might be the groom," Krakowski said with a laugh. "They tend to have me crossdress quite a bit. I'm sure Will Forte's going to fight me for that wedding dress."

Then, Liz had a surprise wedding halfway through the season and Jenna followed her down the aisle an episode later.

"Parks and Recreation" airs a one-hour episode on Thursday, Feb. 21 starting at 8:30 p.m.

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