This is literally the worst news we've heard in a long time.
"The news about Rob and Rashida is true -- they will be leaving the show after the 13th episode of the upcoming season six," Schur said in a statement of the actors' exit from the NBC sitcom. "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," Schur continued. "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. 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."
Last time we saw Chris and Ann, they agreed to have a baby together and were even dipping their toes back into the relationship pool to see if the water was right to get back together. Hopefully their exits on the show will correspond with the birth of their baby and maybe a move back to the awesome city of Indianapolis. Go Colts!
Jones has been with the series since the beginning (2009) as Leslie's (Amy Poehler) best friend and "beautiful tropical fish", while Lowe joined the comedy in season two. Buzzfeed first reported the news of their impending departures.
This is not the first show that Lowe exited mid-series. He left The West Wing in season four after a highly-publicized battle about salary and airtime. And when Lowe felt he was underutilized on the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters, his character was written off the show via a car crash.
Chris sums up our feelings about this heartbreaking news perfectly:
(Originally published July 31, 2013, at 2:21 p.m. PT)
Mourning party in the comments, Parks and Rec fans. See you down there. We also welcome your thoughts on if the show can function without Ann and Chris at the Parks Department.