In literally shocking news, Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger are leaving Pawnee.
As first reported by Buzzfeed, the pair will leave in the February sweeps-timed 13th episode of the NBC comedy’s upcoming run.
No reason for the duo’s departure has been given, but it’s safe to assume their characters will be written off the canvas together: As executive producer Mike Schur notes in a statement, Ann and Chris are currently in the process of having a baby.
“The news about Rob and Rashida is true — they will be leaving the show after the 13th episode of the upcoming season six,” Mike Schur says. ” We’ve been working on their storyline (on and off) for four seasons now, and heading into this year, with the two of them contemplating parenthood, it felt like a natural time to move them into the next phase.
“We absolutely love both Rashida and Rob, and will be sad to see them go. Rashida was one of the very first people we knew we wanted in the cast, and as important as Ann is to Leslie (and vice-versa), she’ll certainly never be far from Pawnee. Rob we initially thought we could only have for six or eight episodes, and we couldn’t be happier that he will have stuck around for 75.”
Schur continues, “They are wonderful, funny, committed actors, they’ve been a huge part of the Parks and Rec family, and we think we have a great Pawnee send-off in the works for them.”
This isn’t the first time Lowe has left a series before the end of its run. The actor famously walked away from The West Wing during Season 4, on the heels of a salary dispute/decreased airtime. (“It has been increasingly clear, for quite a while, that there was no longer a place for Sam Seaborn on The West Wing,” he said in a statement at the time.)
Jones has been part of Parks since its April 2009 debut, while Lowe came aboard the sitcom in the final leg of Season 2.
Parks and Recreation‘s London-set, hour-long premiere airs Sept. 26.