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'Parks and Recreation' and 'Black Box' herald in May sweeps for NBC and ABC

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April 24 marks the first day of the all-important May sweeps ratings period. NBC and ABC are hoping to make a splash with the season finale of “Parks and Recreation” starring Amy Poehler and the series premiere of “Black Box” starring Kelly Reilly. One series is a comedy, while the second is a medical drama. However, both series have received a ton of media hype.

As posted by Moviefone on April 22, the season six finale of “Parks and Recreation” is “insane.” It’s been a great year for Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler, but not so much for her character, Leslie Knope. She lost her city council seat and found out that she is expecting triplets. Poehler promises a lot of surprises for the finale and a “huge, shocking final moment.”

According to E!online, everything changes for Amy Poehler and “Parks and Recreation” during Thursday night’s season finale. Poehler recently told reporters during a press conference that viewers must watch until the very last minute. “I’m very excited for people to see it,” she stated enthusiastically. To see Amy talk about the season finale, be sure to check out the video above.

Since the premiere of "Parks and Recreation" in 2009, the critically acclaimed series has been included on dozens of television critics' Top 10 lists and was named "TV's Smartest Comedy" by Entertainment Weekly. The comedy series was the recipient of a Peabody Award for excellence in television programming. It was also an AFI honoree as one of the Top 10 Television Shows of the Year. Plus, "Parks and Recreation" has received multiple Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, and three consecutive Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations for Amy Poehler's individual performance. The season six finale of “Parks and Recreation” airs at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST) on Thursday, April 24 on NBC. The comedy series will return for a 7th season.

“Black Box,” a new hour-long medical drama, is also set to make waves on the first day of May sweeps. The limited series stars Kelly Reilly as Dr. Catherine Black, a physician who deals with extraordinary brain cases while afflicted with a disorder that affects her own brain and perception.

Executive producer Ilene Chaiken compares Dr. Black to Gregory House, but adds that she empathizes more with her patients because of her own medical issues. “Her illness makes her even more of a brilliant doctor,” Chaiken explained. In addition to Reilly, “Black Box” also stars Vanessa Redgrave.

ABC has high hopes for its new drama, but early reviews are quite negative. On April 23, Hank Stuever from The Washington Post wrote, “'Black Box’ is a miserable mess of an ABC drama.” Variety posted, “'Black Box’ is an awful title for a not-much-better show.” Tim Goodman from the Hollywood Reporter added that the new show is “truly unbearable in its wispy, vacuous, pretentious way.”

“Black Box” premieres at 10 p.m. EST (9 p.m. CST) on Thursday, April 24 on ABC. If you’re looking for a sure-fire hit, it looks like “Parks and Recreation” is a much better choice.

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