NBC Calls 911, Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant Answer

     October 12, 2009


“Reno 911!” was a great show that never should have lasted as long as it did.  After one of the funniest first seasons in TV history, the show struggled to maintain an identity and stretched the talents of its very talented improv performers to their absolute limits.  Head writers Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Kerri Kenney-Silver were consistently the funniest and most enjoyable to watch, and now Lennon and Garant have teamed up to pen and star in a multi-camera comedy for NBC.  More after the jump.

The show’s premise is being kept secret for the time being, so all we know is that Lennon will be the principal star, with Garant in a supporting role.  The two will write and executive produce the show, and have signed a talent deal with both NBC and Universal Media Studios that will include other projects.  This is on top of the mind-blowing number of film projects the two have in the works, including “How to Survive a Robot Uprising”, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, “The Devil You Know”, and “The Incredible Shrinking Man”.  I guess you could say the pair is a hot commodity.

I find both men to be uncompromisingly funny and enjoy the time they spend in front of the camera, but somehow the translation to writing just hasn’t been there for me, and I don’t think I’m alone.  None of their films have cracked 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, and their catalog includes a few mega-stinkers like “Taxi”, “The Pacifier”, and “Balls of Fury”.  Bad reviews don’t always translate to bad box office figures, however, and the pair penned both incredibly popular “Night at the Museum” movies, and even their most dudly critical-duds have pulled in a decent penny.  They were credited as writers on “Reno 911!”, but because the show was largely improv-based, I don’t imagine the writing team agonized much over line delivery and character arcs.

Color me cautiously optimistic on this one. Read more on THR.