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RENO 911! is an Americanmarker comedy television series on Comedy Central that originally 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. 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. In response to the cancellation, residents and officials of Reno have petitioned to save the show with efforts including a fundraiser where participants will toss 50,000 pounds of tomatoes at each other in downtown.


The show is a satire based on the FOX Television show COPS, which follows actual police officers through their daily duties (often chasing criminals and intervening in domestic disputes) in Washoe County, Nevadamarker. 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 Renomarker and the rest of the county, the deputies sometimes address the camera directly as though being interviewed. The show dealt heavily in politically-incorrect and 'racy' humor, including many jokes about race, sexual orientation, drug and alcohol abuse, rape, and so on.

Only the basic plot elements of the show were 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 performed their own stunts. A constantly-changing cast of weirdos, prostitutes, homeless persons, survivalists, political figures, celebrities etc. were portrayed by comedian friends of the primary cast.

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, 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 left out of the final edit.

Many of the main scenes were shot over the course of many hours, such as the briefing room. 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. Everyone contributes his or her dialogue as they are inspired to do so.

On March 21, 2004, Comedy Central ran a special of the show titled Reno 911!: Off Duty.

The establishing shots were filmed in Renomarker, and everything else was filmed in Southern California and some parts of Oregonmarker.

The fourth season began on July 9, 2006 and comprises 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.

On October 9, 2006, Comedy Central confirmed 13 new episodes to make up Reno 911! season five. Production of Season Five started in January and wrapped up in April. Reno 911! Season five premiered on January 16, 2008. It actually contained 16 episodes.

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 will be syndicated to broadcast stations. The station now airs all six seasons of Reno 911! at 5:00 A.M. EST daily (unless a movie or other special programing is being shown).

Lennon and Garant appeared in-character on a comedy compilation CD, Comedy Death-Ray, released on September 11, 2007, 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. 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 marker. Season Six premiered on April 1, 2009 on Comedy Central. Season six consisted of fifteen episodes.

Development history

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 would've been 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 Yarborough, who had been hired for the cast of the cancelled pilot, said that the cast was advised to "come up with your own characters and come back and then we'll film it."

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, and it was another two years before Comedy Central greenlit the project.


Cast and characters

According to the Comedy Central website, a photo of the officers displays all of the cops except Deputies Garcia, Johnson, and Kimball with the addition of Deputy Frank Rizzo and Sergeant Jack Declan, played by Joe Lo Truglio and Ian Roberts, respectively. In the start of the sixth season, Lt. Dangle reveals that Deputies Garcia, Johnson, and Kimball (no one can remember their names, but they're clearly missing from the cast) have been killed off in the ending to the Season 5 finale episode, though only a single casket was shown during a 21 gun salute before cheers were heard with seven hats flying.


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 is a current member of The Groundlings theatre company, located in Los Angelesmarker.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Birdsong has 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.
  • Season six newcomers Joe Lo Truglio and Ian Roberts are no strangers to Reno 911. Both 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) have 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) have made appearances as characters. While Michael Showalter remains the exception on the TV series, he appears in the film, along with all of the cast members of The State.

"The State" Crossovers
Actor On Reno 911! On Reno 911: Miami
Thomas Lennon Lt. Jim Dangle Lt. Jim Dangle
Robert Ben Garant Deputy Travis Junior Deputy Travis Junior
Kerri Kenny-Silver Deputy Trudy Wiegel Deputy Trudy Wiegel
Michael Patrick Jann Director Tattoo Shop Owner #1
Joe Lo Truglio Shopkeeper (1 episode)

Deputy Frank Rizzo (recurring)
Tattoo Shop Owner #2
Ken Marino Frank

Cadet Jared Reese

Sgt. Andrew Blake
Deaf Tattoo Artist
David Wain Sensual Masseuse

Breen the Plumber
Michael Ian Black Kevin the Sex Offender

Ron of Ron's Tattoo
Kevin Allison N/A Tattoo Victim
Michael Showalter N/A Paul
Todd Holoubek N/A Tattooed Guy

Main crew members

Reno 911!: Miami

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 Beachmarker during spring break.

DVD releases

Season Releases
DVD Name Release Date Ep # Additional Information
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.

Movie Releases
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.


External links

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