Mike Schur has made a lot of fans over his years in television. It helps that he went from working on The Office to creating shows like Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn 99, and now The Good Place.
Schur’s shows often attract the same fans because they all follow a similar pattern — they’re wickedly funny, smart, and offer social commentary in a way that constantly surprises viewers. The only way fans of both The Good Place and Parks and Recreation could be more aligned with their Mike Schur fandoms is if they happen to love deconstructing bad baseball columns, which, hell yeah I do.
But while these interests may overlap with fans of Schur’s show/anonymous sportswriting criticism blog, the actual canonical universes those shows live in will remain separate. Schur spoke at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour on Tuesday after a panel for his newest NBC comedy, “Abby’s,” and hte prolific showrunner made it very clear that there will not be a Parks and Recreation x The Good Place crossover happening.
“I want to make this very clear, that will never happen — end of story,” Schur told reporters during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Tuesday, following the panel for his new NBC comedy “Abby’s.” “I’m like literally drawing a shower curtain between the universe and that idea.”
That could be hugely disappointing for people who want to see Jason and be lovable doofuses in the same universe. It also might be confusing to eagle-eyed fans who have found Parks and Recreation references in The Good Place universe. But Schur made it clear: those are homages to his past works, not links that put them in the same kind of Jeremy Bearimy-like time and space.
“Part of the fun of doing the show has been just for literally no reason to drop ‘Parks and Rec’ Easter eggs into ‘The Good Place,’” Schur told TheWrap. “And we’ve done it like, I don’t know, a dozen times. And that was a total coincidence, that was for an episode of ‘The Good Place’ where all the animals were walking around. We decided just for old times’ sake to get Li’l Sebastian back.”
With that in mind, however, Schur did say he’s a fan of Li’l Sebastian existing somewhere in The Good Place universe.
“And then D’Arcy [Carden, who plays Janet] took that photo and said, ‘Can I post this?” Schur continued. “And one of our producers said, ‘If she posts that, it will break the internet.’ And I was like, ‘Ah, go ahead, who cares.’ So I like the idea that Li’l Sebastian is floating around in heaven somewhere and being attended to by Janet, that’s a nice thought to have. But it’s not a crossover.”
Despite the news that a true Parks and Rec reunion won’t be happening in Season 4 or beyond, the spirit of the shows obviously are similar, and they have even shared actors (though in different roles) and writers. But Schur wants these to be different shows that, ultimately, explore different things in unique universes. Besides, The Good Place is complicated enough. Factoring the not-too-distant future that Parks and Recreation ended with into a constantly-evolving show like The Good Place would be a crazy, perhaps impossible feat.
Not that it will stop fans from giving it a shot, anyway.