Paul Schneider is leaving NBC's Parks and Recreation at the end of the season to focus on his film career, executive producer Mike Schur told the Los Angeles Times.
Schur said that Schneider's character - Pawnee city planner Mark Brendanawicz - was initially created to come and go between jobs in government and the private sector. When Schneider's film career began to take off with the critically acclaimed movie Bright Star and appearances in Lars and the Real Girl and The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, the producers decided to put their plan into action.
"It was a combination of us always knowing that the character would always leave some day, the timing of this movie, and then sort of feeling like, well, the way the character's gone...we were all on the same page here and we decided to write the character out," Schur said.
The news comes on the heels of Adam Scott and Rob Lowe being added to the cast, but Schur insisted neither are there to replace Schneider.
"We very much want him back, and he has told us he very much wants to come back in the future," Schur said. "It really is one of those mutually beneficial situations. And we're hoping we can have him back in Season 3."