HOLLYWOOD — Could "Reno 911!" — the cult hit series that once aired on Comedy Central — be returning?
If you ask Farragut High School graduate Ben Garant, who co-wrote, directed, co-created and co-starred in it as Deputy Junior, the answer isn't quite black and white.
No, the show isn't coming back to cable TV on a weekly basis. A sequel to its modestly successful big-screen version, "Reno 911!: Miami," isn't going to happen. "I don't think anyone wants us to make (a sequel)," Garant says.
Though a feature film is doubtful, Garant says "Reno 911!" might come back together in another form.
"Netflix made us some kind of weird offer at one time," says Tom Lennon, who is Garant's writing partner and also co-created, directed, co-wrote and starred in the series as Officer Dangle.
However, the Netflix version of "Reno" didn't result in anything.
With "Reno" behind Garant and Lennon, the two say they might be interested in doing "Reno" as a limited run special, perhaps as a one-hour reunion or, possibly, in a shortened season of half a dozen episodes.
"We've talked about this at length, this kind of David Lynch-like version (of 'Reno')," Lennon says. "... It would be (done) in a shortened season."
After Comedy Central canceled "Reno" in 2009, Garant and Lennon made a couple of attempts to return to series TV. One effort was for NBC. Another was a hot script that Comedy Central, FX, Showtime, Fox and HBO, among others, wanted.
Ultimately, Garant and Lennon went with FX to make the pilot. The cable channel executives suggested changes. Instead, Lennon and Garant decided to focus their careers in another direction: feature films. "Working on TV was like dating this horrible, crystal-meth-addicted girlfriend who you don't want to break up with," Lennon says, "until she stabs you in the neck."
Of the series that never happened, "it was a wake-up call," Garant says.
Garant and Lennon regret not going with HBO's offer to do the pilot. They're not bitter and not looking back. Also, they don't envision ever doing another series.
That wasn't such a bad career move.
Since "Reno" ended, the two have penned a successful book on screenwriting. Lennon has gone more in front of the camera with roles in "The Dark Knight Rises," "What to Expect When You're Expecting," "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" and "Bad Teacher."
Garant and Lennon wrote "Night at the Museum" and its sequel "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," two of the most successful comedies ever at the box office. Their other credits include "Herbie: Fully Loaded" (wth Lindsay Lohan) "The Pacifier" (with Vin Diesel) and "Let's Go To Prison."
Their films have raked in more than $1.4 billion in box-office revenue alone.
The cable TV work ethic of pinching pennies and getting episodes shot on the fly has served them well in films. Making even a slightly successful film for less than $2.5 million is attractive to studios. Lennon and Garant have been able to do that with the majority of their work, which allowed them to keep creative control.
Garant has been working on horror scripts, with upcoming films "Jessabelle" and the sci-fi drama "The Machine."
He and Lennon are co-directing, writing and co-starring in the comedy "Hell Baby," an adult horror comedy recently shot in New Orleans. It's due in theaters in 2013.
The cast includes Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb and Michael Ian Black.
"It's the best work we have done," Garant says of "Hell Baby." "Since being canceled from TV, this whole new thing has opened in movies."
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or email@example.com. Follow him@Telebuddy on Twitter.
© 2012, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!