We’re so Glad ‘Reno 911!’ Is Back, but Why Was It Canceled in the First Place?

Abi Travis - Author

May 4 2020, Updated 5:14 p.m. ET

why did reno  get canceled
Source: Instagram

It’s been a rough decade for fans of Reno 911!, but after years of waiting for more of their favorite mockumentary-style cop show, it’s finally happening! A new season of the show has officially aired on Quibi. While that’s awesome news, we couldn’t help but wonder — why did Reno 911! get canceled in the first place?

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Why did ‘Reno 911!’ get canceled?

In August of 2009, Reno 911! co-creator and star Thomas Lennon took to Twitter to announce the heartbreaking news. “Reno 911! was canceled at 1:30 pm today,” he wrote. “Won’t be wearing the shorts again.” While it’s certainly not out of the ordinary for shows to be canceled (even shows that have been running for several years), Thomas’ abrupt announcement came as a shock to many.

It soon became obvious that Thomas — along with fellow co-creators Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver — had no idea the cancelation was coming and were just as shocked as their many fans. “We had no idea we were about to be canceled, so we didn’t wrap anything up in any way,” Thomas told Entertainment Weekly back in 2014. Robert agreed, saying: “I think if we’d known it was coming, we would’ve planned some sort of Twin Peaks end to the whole thing, but we never got a chance.”

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It never really became clear why Comedy Central chose to cancel the minimally scripted (and maximally hilarious) show. According to the show’s creators, the ratings weren’t the issue. “We were plenty surprised that the show got canceled, especially because [of] the ratings,” Thomas said. “It was actually a very highly rated show for pretty much its entire run.”

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It also wasn’t a particularly expensive show to produce. Since most of the dialogue was improvised, filming episodes of the show was just a matter of getting into character and letting people run loose with a rough idea of what the story might be. “Because it was improv and it was based on outlines instead of scripts, we never got script notes,” Robert said. “We never had script meetings; we never had script approvals. So we were really left to our own devices, which was very, very fun.”

Nevertheless, Comedy Central did ultimately make the decision to pull the plug on the Cops parody show. Even at the time, fans tried to rally support for the show’s continuation. Real-life residents of Reno, Nev. even started a petition to save the show. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Until now!

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Luckily, there’s now a new season of the show on Quibi.

Back in December of 2019, Quibi announced that it’d be reviving Reno 911! as part of its short-form content lineup. Fans of the show were relieved to see new episodes of their favorite show which still involved the show’s original creators. 

We have to admit that Quibi’s short-form format makes for a perfect pairing with shows like Reno 911!. There are no instances of stretching the joke out to take up more time — the show remains fast-paced and as hilarious as always.

You can watch the new season of Reno 911! on Quibi now.

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