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Richter registers on Fox with deal

Comedian to create, star in sitcom

Sidekick no more, former “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” comic relief Andy Richter has sealed a new development deal with Fox to create and star in a half-hour sitcom.

Deal, which sources peg in the high six figures, could become the first regular TV gig for Richter since departing the “Late Night” couch in May. Richter hasn’t yet settled on a concept for the laffer, which could be produced as soon as midseason but is more likely a contender for fall 2001.

“We think Andy’s a tremendously interesting voice for us,” said Fox Entertainment prexy Gail Berman. “We think he’s got the potential to be a terrific Fox star. He’s got those particular qualities.”

Fox is working with Richter to come up with a series concept and attach a writer and studio to the project.

“Andy has a number of ideas,” Berman said.

Since parting ways with staring contest and future prognostication partner O’Brien, Richter has landed roles in the Robert Altman film “Dr. T and the Women,” starring as Richard Gere’s fishing buddy; Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Big Trouble”; and Chris Rock’s “Pootie Tang.”

Richter will also provide a voice for the midseason NBC talking dog comedy “Dog Days,” from Carsey Werner.

The actor-comedian joined “Late Night” when O’Brien debuted as host in 1993. Richter announced his intentions to vacate his spot on the couch last August, deciding to focus on acting.

Richter is repped by UTA, manager Tim Sarkes of the Sarkes-Kernis Company and attorney Don Walerstein.

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