Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Story Behind That "Parks and Recreation" Pit

If you caught the first episode of NBC's new Amy Poehler comedy, "Parks and Recreation," you may have caught a few familiar sights.

The show takes place in fictional Pawnee, Indiana, but of course, is actually shot here in Southern California. That's why the Pawnee city hall looks a lot like Pasadena's -- because it is.

And then there's the issue of the pit, which actually plays a major role in the entire "Parks and Rec" series conceit. In the show, Poehler plays Leslie Knope -- a low-level city employee who vows to turn the pit into a park after being approached by Ann (Rashida Jones), whose boyfriend was injured on the property.

In real life, NBC confirmed that the pit was actually dug by the "Parks and Recreation" production team. It's located on undeveloped property around Hazeltine and Collins in Van Nuys.

Also, as the "Parks and Rec" writing team spent time researching local politics, that included at least one visit to a Los Angeles City Council meeting. As a result, you may notice a character on the show who was inspired by infamous L.A. gadfly Zuma Dogg.

"Parks and Recreation" airs tonight on NBC (Channel 4) at 8:30 p.m.

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