'Reno’ Slides Into 'Chappelle’s’ Slot

Forging ahead without its AWOL star, Comedy Central plans to slide Reno 911! into Chappelle’s Show’s slated Tuesday 10 p.m. slot on June 14.

“We’re moving on,” Comedy spokesman Tony Fox said last week. “We can’t hold up our business based on the star of one of our series.”

As of last Wednesday morning, network officials still hadn’t heard directly from comedian Dave Chappelle. “If and when Dave contacts the network, that’s when the conversations will begin about getting him back on the air again,” Fox said.

On May 4, Comedy suspended production and postponed the May 31 debut of Chappelle’s third season. It developed that the comic had taken off for South Africa on a spiritual retreat, reportedly feeling pressured and “stressed out” in the midst of production. Chappelle was quoted in the May 23 Time magazine talking about his whereabouts, but he still hadn’t contacted Comedy officials.

On June 28, the network will bow its new scripted series Stella at 10:30 p.m. Tuesdays behind Reno 911!, pairing the two programs. Reno 911!, starting its third season, was to have followed Chappelle’s Show Tuesdays. Stella comes from members of the comedy troupe “The State”. The series is a live-action adaptation of their stage show. Veterans of The State also comprise the cast of Reno 911!.