Fox is a true believer in “The Church of Reggie,” picking up a put pilot from “Arrested Development” alum Chuck Tatham about a guy who starts his own religion.
Imagine principal Ron Howard originally came up with the idea and pitched it to Tatham, whom he knew from their “Arrested” days. Project revolves around Reggie Fender, a young man who has kept an optimistic look on life even after experiencing a number of personal struggles. His take on life eventually catches on with others — and all of a sudden he finds himself preaching his own religion.
“(Ron) had an idea about a guy who comes up with a religion in his garage,” Tatham said. “I’ve been toying with this idea of contemporary society’s search for something to believe in, and the idea that sometimes less conventional avenues can provide what our souls are starved for.”
Imagine TV will produce, along with 20th Century Fox, where Tatham has an overall deal. Tatham is currently working as a co-exec producer on Fox’s “Back to You.”
Howard will serve as an exec producer on “Reggie,” repping his first TV comedy since “Arrested,” as well as the first major comedy pilot coming from Imagine (which has sold a slew of dramas) this development season. Tatham will also exec produce, along with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and TV prexy David Nevins.
“Hopefully Ron will be as involved as possible,” Tatham said. “He’s got an incredibly busy production schedule, but he’s so excited about this idea that he happily found time to discuss it whenever I came to him.”
In the case of “Arrested,” Howard ultimately was so jazzed about the comedy that he signed on to narrate. The exec is helming the movie “Frost/Nixon,” which prevented him from attending the “Church of Reggie” pitch meeting with Fox.
Despite the show’s focus on the touchy subject of religion, Tatham said he doesn’t plan to make waves with “Reggie.”
“I have no interest in taking potshots at organized religion in any form,” he said. “My interest is in personal beliefs, whatever gets you through the night. There is a fairly significant number of people looking for ways to survive emotionally and philosophically.”
“The Church of Reggie” will likely be shot as a single camera/multi camera hybrid, which Tatham hopes will give him more flexibility to explore the show’s topics.
Tatham was also a co-exec producer on NBC’s “Andy Barker, P.I.” last season. He earned an Emmy nom for his work on “Arrested.”