Quotes from the news wire:
There's a gigantic battle that is waged for. It's sort of Leslie Knope's final big project, she's fighting a corporation for control over something. The arc of the season is about what I think is probably the most important issue facing America, which is not just public sector vs. private sector, but specifically it becomes about the issue of privacy.
Part of the story of the premiere is that this team doesn't work together anymore, and she feels like she needs them back to do this final big project, the closeness of this group of people is fraying at the edges just because people's lives are taking them in different directions, and that culminates in the series finale.
Because we had written so many season finales that could be series finales and because we were always unsure of our future, we accelerated the characters so dramatically in terms of their personal lives and their professional lives, we got to a point where it's like, what are we going to do? Follow Leslie to Washington? Are we just going to keep going until she's the president?
It feels like just a result of this new era of TV that we're all in. People don't want to wait. People don't want to let seasons unfold slowly over the course of eight months, it wasn't at all what we expected but also, the more we thought about it, the more it was like I see the value in that. Amy is co-hosting the Golden Globes again, and the show will launch two days after she hosts the Globes and, as luck would have it, this season happens to be extremely serialized, especially at the beginning, so airing back-to-back is actually kind of cool.