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Comedy’s Plans Don’t Include Chappelle

5/16/2005 9:31 AM Eastern

Forging ahead without its AWOL star, Comedy Central plans to slide Reno 911! into the Tuesday 10 p.m. time slot that Chappelle’s Show was to have aired in, officials said Monday.

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

As of Monday 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.

Comedy May 4 suspended production and postponed the May 31 debut of the third season of hit Chappelle’s Show.As it turns out, the comic had taken off and went to South Africa on a spiritual retreat, reportedly feeling pressured and “stressed out” in the midst of producing the new season of his show.

Chappelle was just quoted in the current issue of Time magazine about his whereabouts, but he hasn’t contacted Comedy officials.

So now, Comedy will kick off a new season of Reno 911! June 14 in what would have been Chappelle’s time slot, 10 p.m. Tuesdays. Then, starting June 28, the network will bow its new series, Stella,at 10:30 p.m. Tuesdays behind Reno 911!,pairing the two programs.

Originally, Reno 911!,starting its third season,was to have followed Chappelle’s Show on Tuesday nights.

“That’s now moving up to take the 10 p.m. slot,” Fox said. “We rejiggered a couple of things. We moved some stuff around.”

September