Six years after the end of Parks and Recreation, Michael Schur has returned to the world of small-town America.
The creator of Parks and Recreation and The Good Place has teamed up with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore writer and producer Sierra Teller Ornelas, and The Office's Ed Helms, to create comedy series Rutherford Falls.
The new series, which premieres only on Stan on April 23, follows Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms), a proud descendant of the town's founder, who is passionate about preserving his family's place in history.
Watch the trailer for Stan's Rutherford Falls below. Post continues after video.
While Nathan is attempting to preserve his family's legacy by working at the town's local heritage museum, his childhood best friend, Reagan (Jana Schmieding), is doing the same for her ancestors in the Minishonka Nation, running a culture centre at the tribe's casino.
As the series continues, the mayor ignites a town-wide debate over whether to remove the statue of the town's namesake "Big Larry", leading Nathan and Reagan to find themselves at a difficult crossroads.
As one of the first ever Native American sitcoms, the new series is breaking barriers in more ways than one.
Led by showrunner Ornelas, a member of the Navajo nation, the series featured a diverse writing team with a record number of writers of Indigenous heritage.
Mamamia spoke to co-creators Michael Schur and Sierra Teller Ornelas about the story behind the show, their one rule for creating scripted comedy television, and their fears about the future of comfort TV.
Where did the initial idea for Rutherford Falls come from?
M: Ed [Helms] and I had worked together on The Office a million years ago, and we had always said, 'Hey, we should talk about doing another show someday.'
Five or six years ago, we started meeting every couple of weeks, and we would just talk about what we thought was interesting about the world. We started designing this character who was good-hearted and sincere and empathetic and well-intentioned, but who had this enormous blind spot for his own family history. A guy who has swallowed whole this historical narrative about his own family that he cares very deeply about, which then comes into conflict with something external, and then slowly causes him to have to re-examine that narrative.