Fox, Tatham off to 'Church'

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Fox is worshipping at "The Church of Reggie."

The network has handed out a put pilot commitment to the religion-themed comedy project from Ron Howard and "Arrested Development" writer-producer Chuck Tatham.

The single-camera "Church," from 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Imagine TV, centers on a man who starts a religion on his front porch.

"This is a guy who has spent his whole life fighting various personal struggles and ultimately arrives at a position when he realizes he has valuable religion he can offer to his community," said Tatham, the project's writer.

Like "Arrested," "Church" is a pet project of Howard's, who originally had an idea for a show about a guy who starts religion in his garage.

Imagine TV, which had worked with Tatham on "Arrested" and on a pilot last year, approached Tatham with the premise.

"I thought it was very topical and would resonate with a lot of people," Tatham said. "I changed it from (his) garage to front porch and thought it was a story where we can have fun discussing the issues of beliefs in a contemporary world."

Tatham, who is under an overall deal at 20th TV, began writing the script Wednesday night with three weeks left until the end of the writers' union contract and a possible writers' strike.

Tatham is exec producing "Church" with Howard, Brian Grazer and David Nevins.

"Church" marks the latest big commitment for Imagine TV this season, following the dramas "The FBI" and an untitled crime procedural by Samuel Baum, both at Fox.

Tatham, who serves as a co-exec producer on the Fox/20th TV comedy series "Back to You," is repped by WMA, Handprint Entertainment and attorney Shep Rosenman.    
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