Originally created 03/09/06

Andy Richter to star in new TV pilot



NEW YORK - Former "Late Night" sidekick Andy Richter will get to hog the spotlight in an NBC pilot, thanks to former partner Conan O'Brien.

Richter, O'Brien's easygoing foil for seven years until leaving the NBC talker in 2000, will star in "Andy Barker P.I.," a detective comedy.

O'Brien co-wrote and is executive producing the show, "Late Night" spokesman Marc Liepis said Tuesday.

Richter, 39, will play an accountant who rents an office previously used by a private investigator and then becomes a reluctant sleuth when his accounting business goes dry, Liepis said.

O'Brien had Richter in mind from the start for the project, being produced by his Conaco Productions and NBC Universal. He wrote the pilot with Jonathan Groff, former head writer of "Late Night," Liepis said.

Richter starred in two Fox sitcoms that were canceled after only one season - "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" and "Quintuplets."