'P.I.' co-exec producer's deal spans two years

“Andy Barker, P.I.” co-exec producer Chuck Tatham has sealed a seven-figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, where he’ll work on existing shows and develop laffers for the studio.

Should NBC not renew “Andy Barker, P.I.,” Tatham will be exclusive to 20th beginning in May. If the critically acclaimed Andy Richter starrer continues, Tatham’s deal will convert to a two-script arrangement.

Pact — which spans two years, with an option for a third year — reunites Tatham with 20th, where he served as a co-exec producer on “Arrested Development.” Scribe also developed the script “Staffers” with the studio and Imagine TV.

Twentieth Century Fox TV prexy Dana Walden said she was a fan of “Staffers” and disappointed that the project didn’t wind up as a series. When Tatham became available, Walden quickly agreed to bring the scribe into the studio stable.

“Chuck is a really funny guy who can write great characters,” she said. “He’s drawn to original ideas, and the showrunners that he works with rave about him. He’s one of those utility players who also has a hit show in them.”

Tatham said he was attracted to 20th’s diverse comedy stable.

“It’s a versatile place,” he said. “They’ve got top-drawer single-camera comedies, top-drawer animated comedies and top-drawer multi-camera comedies. I’ll be able to pursue whatever it is I want to do.”

Tatham said he had already come up with several ideas in every comedy genre.

“It’s a very tricky comedy environment, but I’d like to think that together with 20th I can bring something unique to TV,” he said. “I do hope and pray that the networks have the patience to stick with shows that are less conventional.

“Ultimately the good men and women of America who watch TV have itchy fingers on the remote control,” he added. “They demand something different.”

Tatham’s other credits include “Less Than Perfect,” “A.U.S.A.,” “What About Joan,” “Suddenly Susan” and “Living Single.”

He’s repped by William Morris and Handprint Entertainment.

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