The first season of Parks and Recreation originally aired in the United States on the NBC television network between April 9 and May 14, 2009. Produced by Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, the series was created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who served as executive producers with Howard Klein.
The comedy series focuses on Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the parks and recreation department of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. The season consisted of six 22-minute episodes, all of which aired at 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Daniels and Schur conceived the show when NBC officials asked Daniels to produce a spin-off of his comedy series The Office, on which Schur was a writer. During development, the creators decided the new show would be a stand-alone series, though it would share the mockumentary style of The Office. Like that show, Parks and Recreation encouraged improvisation among its cast members.
Early test screenings were poor, and many critics and industry observers were skeptical about the show's chances of success. The first season received generally mixed to negative reviews, and several commentators found it too similar to The Office. The premiere episode was watched by 6.77 million households, but the viewership declined almost every week in the Nielsen ratings. A season low of 4.25 million households watched the final episode, "Rock Show". Despite the low rating, "Rock Show" received the best reviews of the season and convinced some critics that the series had finally found the right tone.
Indiana government worker Leslie Knope is given the assignment to convert an abandoned quarry pit into a community park. A documentary film crew follows Leslie through her mishaps and gaffes as she tries to make her assignment a reality.
Leslie decides that she and her committee need to go door-to-door to gain support for the park project as well as support for an upcoming town hall meeting, but their mission does not go as planned. Meanwhile, Tom wanders away from the canvassing group and uses his own creative recruitment tactics.
Leslie arranges for a reporter to do a story about her park project, but she and her committee have the worst time staying on topic. She then calls Mark to help her save the story, but it ends up hurting more than helping. Meanwhile, Tom does all he can to suck up to his boss.
Leslie attempts to break into the political "old boys' club," causing an ethical dilemma. Meanwhile, Andy plans a surprise for Ann.
During a banquet honoring her mother's public service, Leslie tries to convince a local zoning official to support her proposed park project. Meanwhile, Mark and Tom try to meet some ladies.
Leslie attends what she believes is a business meeting with an elderly local government bigwig, unaware that her mother has secretly set her up on a blind date. Andy plays his first gig since breaking both of his legs in the pit.