O'Brien, Richter reteam for detective comedy
By Nellie Andreeva
Tue Mar 7, 5:14 AM ET
Conan O'Brien and his former sidekick on NBC's "Late Night," Andy Richter, are reuniting for NBC primetime, and this time Richter is the leading man.
The network has ordered "Andy Barker P.I.," a detective comedy pilot starring Richter, which O'Brien co-wrote and is executive producing.
Richter plays the title character, an accountant who sets up a business in an office formerly belonging to a private investigator. As he starts panicking that no clients are coming in, people looking for the office's previous occupant begin to give him detective cases that he somewhat reluctantly takes on.
"Andy Barker" stems from a germ of an idea O'Brien had been kicking around for a while. In the fall, he teamed with Jonathan Groff, former longtime head writer of "Late Night," and the two quickly developed and wrote the pilot.
The key to the lead character is that he doesn't change when he accidentally falls into a career as a detective, Groff said.
"This is just a different way for him to be who he is -- a really decent, ethical guy for whom everything has worked out through hard work," Groff said. "He approaches (private detecting) with the same level with decency; he would lecture bad guys that it's better to buy, not rent, their hideaway place."
From the initial stages of developing the central character, O'Brien and Groff thought of Richter as the perfect actor for the role. Richter quickly came on board, and the part was written for him.
Also cast in the pilot as Andy Barker's wife, Ruth, is Amy Farrington, who has a recurring role on CBS' upcoming comedy "The New Adventures of Old Christine."
Richter previously starred in the short-lived Fox comedy "Andy Richter Controls the Universe."
BE SURE to watch Conan this Friday. Its a whole episode dedicated to his trip to Finland.