Premise[ edit ] The show is a direct satire of the iconic Fox Television series, Cops which follows actual police officers through their daily duties, such as chasing criminals, and intervening in domestic disputes. 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 very criminals they are attempting to control. Lennon and Kenney-Silver in character at Mardi Gras Only the basic plot elements of the show are scripted, while the dialogue is improvised —enhancing the illusion of reality a practice referred to as retroscripting.
Unlike Cops, which the show parodies, Reno ! 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 persons, survivalists, political figures, celebrities, etc. 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 even attempt to get arrested just to be on TV. Development history[ edit ] In Thomas Lennon's words, Reno !
It was scheduled to begin in the fall of Working quickly to take advantage of this, the initial Reno ! 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. 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. 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 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 !: Off Duty on March 21, The fourth season began on July 9, and comprised 14 episodes.
Comedy Central aired the first seven in the fall of and the last seven in the spring of Also in early , a theatrical film based upon the series entitled Reno !: Miami was released in North America , featuring the complete TV series cast. The Season Four spring debut drew 1.
Excess footage from season three was used in season four. On October 9, , Comedy Central confirmed 13 new episodes to make up Reno ! Season Five, though the season actually contained 16 episodes.
Production of Season Five started in January and wrapped up in April. Season Five premiered on January 16, On March 27, , Superstation WGN acquired the first four seasons of the half-hour comedy for a two-year run. The syndicated Reno ! Reruns are currently syndicated to broadcast stations. In , 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, , Comedy Central confirmed 10 new episodes to make up Reno ! Season Six, the final season. Principal photography was done between November and December Season Six premiered on April 1, 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.
On August 13, , Thomas Lennon announced through Twitter that the show had ended its six-year run.