Reno 911! is an American comedy television series that initially ran on Comedy Central from 2003 to 2009. It is a mockumentary-style parody of law enforcement documentary shows, specifically Cops, with comic actors playing the police officers. Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver all starred in and are billed as creators of the series.
|Created by||Robert Ben Garant|
Robert Ben Garant
Joe Lo Truglio
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||113 (list of episodes)|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Single camera|
|Running time||22 minutes (2003–09)|
7 minutes (2020)
|Production companies||Jersey Television (2003–09)|
High Sierra Carpeting (2009; 2020)
Comedy Central Productions
|Distributor||ViacomCBS Global Distribution|
|Original network||Comedy Central (2003–09)|
|Original release||July 23, 2003 –|
A revival of the series premiered on May 4, 2020 on the streaming platform Quibi, which was renewed for an additional season (the show's eighth) on September 3, 2020. Quibi later announced in October 2020 that it would be shutting down while the eighth season was in production. According to Niecy Nash, the eighth season will debut on another platform, which was later revealed to premiere on The Roku Channel.
The show is a direct satire of the Fox Broadcasting Company reality legal series Cops (which follows actual police officers through their daily duties, such as chasing criminals, and intervening in domestic disputes). Reno 911! features members of the fictitious, massively inept "Reno Sheriff's Department"—distinct from the actual Reno Police Department, and, Washoe County Sheriff's Office, both of which are absent from the series (although Comedy Central has repeatedly referenced the series as being about the "men and women of the Washoe County Sheriff's Department"). In the course of their duties patrolling both the city of Reno and the rest of Washoe County, Nevada, the deputies sometimes address the camera directly (as though being interviewed for a documentary). The show deals heavily in politically incorrect and racy humor, including many jokes about race, sexual orientation, substance abuse, rape, pedophilia, and mental disorders. Another main comedic aspect of the show is the outlandishly severe incompetence of the deputies—often resulting in their being outsmarted by the criminals they are attempting to control.
Unlike Cops, which the show parodies, Reno 911! Sheriff's deputies are constantly cursing, causing much of their dialogue to be censored for broadcast. The actors often perform their own stunts. A constantly changing cast of weirdos, prostitutes, homeless people, survivalists, political figures, celebrities, etc. are portrayed by comedian friends of the primary cast, and the cast themselves, while disguising their voices and general appearance (and, whose faces were blurred in the style of Cops).
The show's characters occasionally refer 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, often stated in frustration, that they have no control over what is aired, and that the show only seems to capture their 'moments' of incompetence. The many "good" incidents, they allege, are left out of the (show-within-a-show's) final edit. Also, some suspects in the show refer to the film crew, and the program being aired on television; occasionally, they will attempt to get arrested just to be on TV.
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 the Fox Broadcasting Company, 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.
The establishing shots for the show were filmed in Reno, and everything else was filmed in Los Angeles and Carson, California, with some parts filmed in Oregon. The exterior and interior shots of the Reno Sheriff's Department station were filmed on location at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department substation in Carson. 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 of 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. Excess footage from season three was used in 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 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, Nevada petitioned to save the show.
In October 2011, a story broke that the producers of Reno 911! were in negotiations with the internet streaming website Netflix to revive the cancelled Comedy Central series. The main reason Reno 911!'s producers wanted to revive the show was because only 88 episodes were produced, and the producers and syndicating networks would have liked for the show to hit the 100 episode milestone. However, at the time, Comedy Central, who still held sole rights to the show, had not been involved in any negotiations. As well, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant were attached to other projects.
It was announced on December 6, 2019 that the series would be revived in 2020 on the streaming platform Quibi. The revival will feature the return of the original series creators Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver. In a statement, Lennon said: "Reno 911! holds a special place in our hearts, and it will be a delight to get the original cast back together for 're-boot goofin'. Hopefully Nick Swardson can still roller skate. Quibi's short format seems custom made for our show."
Filming of the seventh season started in early 2020, where the production crew was spotted in Piru, California on February 23, 2020. On April 10, 2020, it was announced that a revival of the show set to premiere on May 4, 2020. On September 3, 2020, the show was renewed for an eighth season. On October 23, 2020, it was announced that Quibi would be shutting down, though the fate of its content like Reno 911! has yet to be announced.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||14||July 23, 2003||October 20, 2003|
|2||16||June 9, 2004||September 22, 2004|
|3||13||June 14, 2005||September 6, 2005|
|4||14||July 9, 2006||May 13, 2007|
|5||16||January 16, 2008||July 10, 2008|
|6||15||April 1, 2009||July 8, 2009|
|7||25||May 4, 2020||September 7, 2020|
|Thomas Lennon||Lieutenant Jim Dangle||M|
|Kerri Kenney-Silver||Deputy Trudy Wiegel||M|
|Cedric Yarbrough||Deputy S. Jones||M|
|Carlos Alazraqui||Deputy James Oswaldo Garcia||M||M|
|Wendi McLendon-Covey||Deputy Clementine Johnson||M||M|
|Niecy Nash||Deputy Raineesha Williams||M|
|Robert Ben Garrant||Deputy Travis Junior||M|
|Mary Birdsong||Deputy Cherisha Kimball||M||M|
|Ian Roberts||Sergeant Jack Declan||M|
|Joe Lo Truglio||Deputy Frank Salvatore Rizzo||M|
Season six newcomers Joe Lo Truglio and Ian Roberts 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 to 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|
|Actor||On Reno 911!||In Reno 911: Miami|
|Thomas Lennon||Lt. Jim Dangle|
|Robert Ben Garant||Deputy Travis Junior|
|Kerri Kenney-Silver||Deputy Trudy Wiegel|
|Michael Patrick Jann||Director||Tattoo Shop Owner #1|
|Joe Lo Truglio||Shopkeeper (Season 3)
Deputy Frank Rizzo (Seasons 6 - 7)
|Tattoo Shop Owner #2|
|Ken Marino||Frank (Season 1)
Cadet Jared Reese (Season 3)
Sgt. Andrew Blake (Season 5)
|Deaf Tattoo Artist|
|David Wain||Sensual Masseur (Season 1)
Sam (Season 5)
|Breen the Plumber|
|Michael Ian Black||Kevin the Sex Offender (Season 1)
Chris (Seasons 2 & 5)
Hatzolah Captain Schwartz (Season 7)
|Ron of Ron's Tattoo|
|Kevin Allison||N/A||Tattoo Victim|
|Todd Holoubek||N/A||Tattooed Guy|
Main crew membersEdit
- 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
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2004||GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Reno 911!||Nominated|||
|2010||Gracie Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Niecy Nash||Won|||
|2020||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series||Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver, John Landgraf, Peter Principato and David Lincoln||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series||Kerri Kenney-Silver||Nominated|
|2021||Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Short Form Series||Reno 911!||Nominated|||
The series spawned a film released in 2007. In the film, the deputies are called in to save the day after a terrorist attack disrupts a national police convention and locks over 2000 police officers in a hotel in Miami Beach during spring break.
In December 2017, Nash said another film is in the works.
|DVD title||Release date||No. of
|The Complete First Season||June 22, 2004||14||Alternate Scenes, Audio Commentary from the entire cast.|
|The Complete Second Season Uncensored||June 14, 2005||16||Over 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 Uncensored||July 11, 2006||13||Deleted scenes, extended outtakes, and commentary with the cast and crew.|
|The Complete Fourth Season Uncensored||June 26, 2007||14||Alternate/Deleted scenes, extended outtakes, and commentary with the cast and crew.|
|The Complete Fifth Season Uncensored||July 15, 2008||16||Alternate/Deleted scenes, extended outtakes, Featurette: Cop Psychology Inside the Minds of Reno's deputies.|
|The Complete Sixth Season Uncensored||July 7, 2009||15||Alternate/Deleted scenes, extended outtakes, and commentary.|
|DVD Name||Release date||Additional information|
|Reno 911!: Miami||June 19, 2007||Audio Commentary, Alternate / Extended Scenes, Trailers, Easter Eggs, and the featurette "Making a Spoof."|
|Reno 911!: Miami: Unrated||June 19, 2007||Audio commentary, Alternate / Extended Scenes, Trailers, Easter Eggs, Public Service Announcements, and the featurette "World Premiere."|
|Reno 911!: Miami: More Busted Than Ever Unrated Edition||September 23, 2008||Intro to "The Lost Version", Audio commentary, Extended Scenes with optional commentary, Blooper Reel, Public Service Announcements, Theatrical Trailer, Easter Eggs.|
Best of Releases
|DVD Name||Release Date||Additional Information|
|Reno's Most Wanted Uncensored||February 13, 2007||A compilation of Reno 911!'s best scenes from the first four seasons.|
- Otterson, Joe (December 6, 2019). "'Reno 911!' Revival Set at Quibi".
- Pedersen, Erik (September 3, 2020). "'Reno 911!' Renewed For Season 2 By Quibi – Watch The Promo".
- "Quibi Will Shut Down Its App on December 1, Company Says". October 22, 2020.
- "Niecy Nash Addresses Future of 'Reno 911' as Quibi Goes Under (Exclusive)". TV.
- Comedy Central. "Reno 911". Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- The Sound of Young America: Interview with Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Kerri Kenney-Silver, May 22, 2008.
- Topel, Fred (2007). "One on One with Cedric Yarbrough". about.com. Retrieved April 3, 2009.
- Comedy Central Cancels "Reno", Hollywood Reporter, August 13, 2009
- Jayne Clark. "'Reno 911!': The city it mocks tries to save it," USA Today. August 27, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
- Netflix looking to revive Reno 911!, "Afterdawn.com", October 9, 2011
- Netflix wants to Make New Episodes of Reno 911!, "Vulture.com"
- Joe Otterson 'Reno 911!' Revival Set at Quibi December 6, 2019 variety.com
- Rico, Klaritza (April 10, 2020). "TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces 'Dead to Me' Season 2 Premiere Date".
- Farrell, Benjamin Mullin, Joe Flint and Maureen (October 22, 2020). "Quibi Is Shutting Down Barely Six Months After Going Live". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
- "GLAAD Media Awards 2004". IMDb. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
- "2010 Gracie Award Winners". TheGracies.org. Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. Archived from the original on December 6, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
- "Reno 911!". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- Schneider, Michael (January 18, 2021). "'Ozark,' 'The Crown' and Netflix Lead 26th Annual Critics' Choice Awards TV Nominations". Variety. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
- Malkin, Marc. "'Reno 911!' Movie in the Works, Says Star Niecy Nash". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
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