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Comedy Central cannibalizes Reno 911 with an unfunny variation on its theme.

I can just see the pitch meeting or show development meeting they must have had at Comedy Central to create their new single-camera sitcom, “Halfway Home,” debuting March 14 at 10:30 p.m.

“Okay, Reno 911 is a huge hit and it’s spawning a movie, so what can we do that will be like that?”

“I know … something else having to do with the law or crime and punishment … Ah, I got it! We’ll have a cast of different crazy characters just like on Reno 911 and they’ll all be in a halfway house on probation for different crimes.”

The problem is, that appears to be about all the thought that was put into this, and the cast, writers and producers who executed this idea fall back all too often on stereotypes and gratuitous insulting references to race that don’t add any humor to the proceedings and simply aren’t necessary.

The cast members have some credentials but don’t manage to rescue the show, and nothing that happens is all that surprising -- if it were that might spark a laugh or two -- as when all the housemates -- surprise, surprise -- use a stash of clean urine to pass a drug test.

Where Reno 911 was original and delightfully warped in both its characters and situations, Halfway Home is just tired, lazy and predictable.




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