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LEGAL FILE

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

Ex-Priest Accuses Sitcom Theft: Mystery writer William X. Kienzle is accusing ABC-TV and 20th Century Fox of stealing an idea for a sitcom based on life in a Roman Catholic rectory. Kienzle and five Detroit-area Roman Catholic priests have filed suit in a Detroit federal court, seeking more than $1 million in damages. Kienzle is an ex-priest turned author whose priest-sleuth character, Father Koesler, is featured in several books and the movie “The Rosary Murders.” With the help of his priest friends, Kienzle said, he wrote a treatment for a proposed comedy series involving four priests in an inner-city rectory. The idea was submitted to ABC and rejected in 1980. According to the suit, ABC and Fox used Kienzle’s outline to create the short-lived show “Have Faith” last year.


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