Reno 911!
Format ComedyImprovisational
Created by Robert Ben GarantThomas LennonKerri Kenney-Silver
Starring Thomas LennonKerri Kenney-SilverCedric YarbroughNiecy NashRobert Ben GarantCarlos Alazraqui (season 1-5)Wendi McLendon-Covey (season 1-5)Mary Birdsong (season 3-5)Ian Roberts (season 6)Joe Lo Truglio (season 6)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 88 + 1 movie (List of episodes)
Camera setup Videotape; Single camera
Running time 22 minutes
Original channel Comedy Central
Original run July 23, 2003 (2003-07-23) – July 8, 2009 (2009-07-08)
Status Ended

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Reno 911!

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Cast of season 6

Reno 911! is an American comedy television series on Comedy Central that ran from 2003 to 2009. It is a mockumentary-style parody of law enforcement documentary shows, specifically COPS, with comic actors playing the police officers. Most of the material is improvised, using a broad outline, and with minimal scripted material. It was inspired by the British fly-on-the-wall mockumentary Operation Good Guys which ran from 1997 to 2000. The series spawned a film, Reno 911!: Miami, featuring the same cast.On August 13, 2009, Thomas Lennon announced through Twitter that the show had ended its six-year run.

Premise

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The show is a satire of the Fox Television show COPS, which follows actual police officers through their daily duties (often chasing criminals and intervening in domestic disputes). Reno 911! features members of a fictitious, inept Reno Sheriff's Department, distinct from the actual Reno Police Department and Washoe County Sheriff's Office, both of which are absent in the show. In the course of their duties patrolling both Reno and the rest of the county, the deputies sometimes address the camera directly as though being interviewed. The show deals heavily in politically incorrect and "racy" humor, including many jokes about race, sexual orientation, drug and alcohol abuse, and rape.

Only the basic plot elements of the show are scripted, with the dialogue improvised, enhancing the illusion of reality (a practice referred to as retroscripting). Unlike COPS, which the show parodies, Reno 911! Sheriff's deputies were constantly cursing, causing much of their dialogue to be "bleeped" for broadcast. The actors often perform their own stunts. A constantly changing cast of weirdos, prostitutes, homeless persons, survivalists, political figures, celebrities, etc. are portrayed by comedian friends of the primary cast or the cast themselves (whose faces were blurred in the style of COPS to keep them distinct from their officer characters).

As the show progressed into Season Four, the show's characters occasionally referred to their own program. They insist that the show's producers told them the videotaped footage was going to be used for a Fox Television documentary series titled Heroes on Patrol and that they have no control over what is shown and that the show only seems to capture moments of incompetence. The many "good" incidents are allegedly left out of the final edit.

Development history

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In Thomas Lennon's words, Reno 911! came about, "like the best of ideas, through total desperation." Following the end of Viva Variety, The State alumni worked on a series of pilots for Fox Television, one of which, after a year's worth of dedicated writing, was terminated the day before shooting. It was scheduled to begin in the fall of 2000. With a month left before the pilot was expected to be due (and half of the budget still unused), the team asked if they could produce another pilot with the remaining resources, and the Fox executives agreed. Working quickly to take advantage of this, the initial Reno 911! pilot was conceived and shot in five days.Cedric Yarbrough, who had been hired for the cast of the canceled pilot, said that the cast was advised to "come up with [their] own characters" and return for filming.

As originally written, the sheriff's department material would have served as link material between traditional comedy sketches; the canceled project was being considered for the Fox Saturday lineup, and the team thought at the time that the COPS format was a natural framework for sketch comedy. However, during the shooting—and especially the editing—they realized the police element was more interesting than the sketches, and the finished pilot was, according to Robert Ben Garant, "remarkably similar" to the series that eventually aired. Nevertheless, Fox turned down the completed pilot. According to Lennon, their decision not to pick the show up was influenced by a scene, preserved in the eventual Comedy Central pilot, involving Lt. Dangle passionately kissing a man. It was another two years before Comedy Central greenlit the project.

Production

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The establishing shots for the show were filmed in Reno, and everything else was filmed in Southern California and some parts of Oregon. Many of the main scenes of the show were shot over the course of many hours, such as the briefing room scenes. According to the DVD commentary for season three, all morning briefing scenes for a season may be filmed on one 10-hour day with different basic plot elements to be used in different episodes. Actors would contribute their dialogue as they were inspired to do so.

The show was continued for two additional seasons with Comedy Central running a special of the show titled Reno 911!: Off Duty on March 21, 2004. The fourth season began on July 9, 2006 and comprised 14 episodes. Comedy Central aired the first seven in the fall of 2006 and the last seven in the spring 2007. Also in early 2007, a theatrical film based upon the series entitled Reno 911!: Miami was released in North America, featuring the complete TV series cast. The Season Four spring debut drew 1.3 million viewers during the week of March 26 to April 1, 2007.

During the shooting of season three, too much footage was shot, so many unused scenes were used to make up season four.

On October 9, 2006, Comedy Central confirmed 13 new episodes to make up Reno 911! Season Five, though the season actually contained 16 episodes. Production of Season Five started in January and wrapped up in April. Reno 911! Season Five premiered on January 16, 2008. On March 27, 2007, Superstation WGN acquired the first four seasons of the half-hour comedy for a two year run. The syndicated Reno 911! is a part of their late night comedy block. Reruns are currently syndicated to broadcast stations. In 2007, Lennon and Garant later appeared in-character on a comedy compilation CD, Comedy Death-Ray, released on September 11, singing a song about why not to use drugs.

On November 10, 2008, Comedy Central confirmed 10 new episodes to make up Reno 911! Season Six, the final season. Principal photography was done between November and December 2008. Carmen Electra was a guest star on an episode filmed December 5, 2008 at Grant High School in Los Angeles. Season Six premiered on April 1, 2009 on Comedy Central. Season Six consisted of fifteen episodes. Cast members Carlos Alazraqui, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Mary Birdsong did not return for the final season and their characters' absence was explained as fatalities from an explosion in the Season Five finale. In addition, actors Ian Roberts and Joe Lo Truglio were added to the principal cast as Sergeant Jack Declan and Deputy Frank Salvatore Rizzo, respectively.

On August 13, 2009, Thomas Lennon announced through Twitter that the show had ended its six-year run. In response to the cancellation, residents and officials of Reno petitioned to save the show with efforts including a fundraiser where 500 participants tossed 50,000 pounds of tomatoes at each other in downtown.

Episodes

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Cast and characters

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Characters


Cast history

  • Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Joe Lo Truglio, frequent Reno 911! director Michael Patrick Jann and many of the frequent guest stars are members of The State, a comedy troupe who had a popular sketch series which aired for several seasons on MTV in the early 1990s.
  • Lennon and Kenney-Silver were the stars of Viva Variety, a former Comedy Central series. Their co-star, Michael Ian Black, has also appeared in several Reno 911! episodes. Garant was Viva Variety's head writer and co-creator; it was a spin-off of a sketch on The State.
  • McLendon-Covey was a member of The Groundlings theater company, located in Los Angeles.
  • Alazraqui is the voice of many cartoon characters, such as: Mr. Weed from Family Guy (1999–2001); Lazlo and Clam from Camp Lazlo; Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life; Winslow and Lube from Catdog; Monroe the enchanted dog from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee; and, Denzel Crocker from The Fairly OddParents. He also was the voice of Spyro the Dragon in that series' first installment. Alazraqui is also the current voice of the Disney character Panchito, of The Three Caballeros and classic cartoon character Felix the Cat.
  • Nash is the host of Clean House on the Style Network. She also appeared in Cookie's Fortune, also as a cop.
  • Yarbrough is the voice of Assistant District Attorney Tom DuBois and Col. Stinkmeaner in the cartoon version of The Boondocks and plays a prison guard in the film Meet the Fockers, and an Army sergeant in an episode of Arrested Development. He also played pimp "Chocolate Giddyup" in the movie Black Dynamite.
  • Birdsong worked on several Comedy Central programs prior to joining the cast of Reno 911!. She appeared in programs such as The Daily Show; Crossballs; Contest Searchlight; and, Lewis Black's Root of All Evil. Before joining Reno 911 as a main cast member, Birdsong made a guest appearance in season 2 as Lisa, a Caucasian woman disguised as a Japanese masseuse. She won a Theatre World Award in 2007 for her Broadway debut with Martin Short in the musical "Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me!"
  • Season six newcomers Joe Lo Truglio and Ian Roberts were no strangers to Reno 911!. Both had appeared as guest stars in past seasons, and both also appeared in Reno 911: Miami. As a member of The State, Lo Truglio is an old friend of the three creators and has worked with them on numerous projects. Roberts is a founding member of the popular Upright Citizens Brigade improv comedy troupe, who had their own Comedy Central sketch show from 1998-2000. Other remaining members of the troupe (Matt Besser and Matt Walsh) also appeared in recurring guest roles throughout the seasons. Amy Poehler is the only member of the "UCB 4" to have never appeared on the show in any form.


Throughout the show's run, all three main cast members from Stella (who were also from The State) made appearances as characters. While Michael Showalter was the exception on the TV series, he appeared in the film, along with all of the cast members of The State.

"The State" Crossovers
ActorOn Reno 911!On Reno 911: Miami
Thomas LennonLt. Jim DangleLt. Jim Dangle
Robert Ben GarantDeputy Travis JuniorDeputy Travis Junior
Kerri Kenny-SilverDeputy Trudy WiegelDeputy Trudy Wiegel
Michael Patrick JannDirectorTattoo Shop Owner #1
Joe Lo TruglioShopkeeper (1 episode)
Deputy Frank Rizzo (recurring)
Tattoo Shop Owner #2
Ken MarinoFrank

Cadet Jared Reese
Sgt. Andrew Blake

Deaf Tattoo Artist
David WainSensual Masseur

Sam

Breen the Plumber
Michael Ian BlackKevin the Sex Offender

Chris

Ron of Ron's Tattoo
Kevin AllisonN/ATattoo Victim
Michael ShowalterN/APaul
Todd HoloubekN/ATattooed Guy


Main crew members
  • Danny DeVito - Executive Producer
  • Michael Shamberg - Executive Producer
  • Stacey Sher - Executive Producer
  • John Landgraf - Executive Producer
  • Peter Principato Executive Producer
  • Paul Young - Executive Producer
  • Robert Ben Garant - Creator
  • Kerri Kenney-Silver - Creator
  • Thomas Lennon - Creator
  • Michael Patrick Jann - Director


Reno 911!: Miami

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The series spawned a movie released in 2007. In the movie, the deputies are called in to save the day after a terrorist attack disrupts a national police convention and locks over 2000 police in a hotel in Miami Beach during spring break.

DVD releases

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DVD NameRelease dateEp #Additional information
The Complete First SeasonJune 22, 200414Alternate Scenes, Audio Commentary from the entire cast.
The Complete Second Season UncensoredJune 14, 200516Over 90 minutes of Alternate/Deleted Scenes, Director and Cast Commentary, Drug Arrest Prevention Seminar - Live Performance from HBO's 2004 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.
The Complete Third Season UncensoredJuly 11, 200613Deleted scenes, extended outtakes, and commentary with the cast and crew.
The Complete Fourth Season UncensoredJune 26, 200714Alternate/Deleted scenes, extended outtakes, and commentary with the cast and crew.
The Complete Fifth Season UncensoredJuly 15, 200816Alternate/Deleted scenes, extended outtakes, Featurette: Cop Psychology Inside the Minds of Reno's Deputies.
The Complete Sixth Season UncensoredJuly 7, 200915Alternate/Deleted scenes, extended outtakes, and commentary.


DVD NameRelease dateAdditional information
Reno 911!: MiamiJune 19, 2007Audio Commentary, Alternate / Extended Scenes, Trailers, Easter Eggs, and the featurette "Making a Spoof."
Reno 911!: Miami: UnratedJune 19, 2007Audio commentary, Alternate / Extended Scenes, Trailers, Easter Eggs, Public Service Announcements, and the featurette "World Premiere."
Reno 911!: Miami: More Busted Than Ever Unrated EditionSeptember 23, 2008Intro to "The Lost Version", Audio commentary, Extended Scenes with optional commentary, Blooper Reel, Public Service Announcements, Theatrical Trailer, Easter Eggs.


Best of Releases

DVD NameRelease DateAdditional Information
Reno's Most Wanted UncensoredFebruary 13, 2007A compilation of Reno 911!'s best scenes from the first four seasons.


Some of the content on this page has been provided by the following page on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reno_911!


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