Creator Michael Schur made the announcement that the acclaimed NBC comedy will end next season at its Emmy For Your consideration panel Friday night. Why four seasons? "After season one ended and aired and it seemed like the show was going to survive the gauntlet of being a TV show in the modern era, I was like, 'Well, this show isn't a typical show where the goal is to do it as long as we can and as many episodes as we can,'" Schur told The Hollywood Reporter in an extensive interview. "It was never designed that way — we do 13 episodes per year from the beginning. I knew I needed to map this out in the same way that I mapped out the first season, I needed to map out the whole show. I didn't feel like it needed to be definitive but I needed to have a sense of how long I thought the idea could sustain itself. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that it was four seasons." Schur adds: "There were times early on where I felt like maybe five and maybe it's three. (Laughs.) Once I settled on four seasons, I didn't tell anyone — except the writers. I didn't tell the studio or network because I wanted to make sure that I was right and I wanted to leave open the possibility that as we as a team developed the show, I wanted to allow the possibility that something could change and there was more I wanted to do. But it was pretty much always four from early on as a general map. We spent all of season three checking in and making sure that we were pacing things correctly and there was going to be enough time to do what we wanted but not too much time so that we were running in place. Toward the end of us shooting season three, I told the studio and then we told the network soon after that. It was completely dictated by the idea and how much juice I thought the idea contained and the pace at which we were letting story unfold and stuff like that. The nice thing about TV shows nowadays is it's not a forced marathon. You can let the idea dictate the number of episodes that you actually do, which is great for creativity." Schur also explained why he didn't tell stars Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, and why he's announcing the end now, saying: "It's only fair to actors to keep them included in those conversations because if you spring it on them a week before, they may have turned down some other offers they didn't do because they thought it would conflict with their home-base TV schedule."