RIALTO - Kardashian. The Situation. Father Steve?

With a little help from on high - and the green light from a high-ranking TV executive - that third name soon might fit just fine among pop culture icons mined from reality television.

That's because the Rev. Steve Porter of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and Derek Christopher of Lighthouse Blues Television Productions have spent the last nine months filming, editing and pitching a reality TV series tentatively titled "Divine Intervention" to big-time networks.

"I often say if the Bible were written today, no one would publish it, and what's more, no government would allow it to be published because there's not just the sexy stuff in there, there's also radical revolutionary stuff in there, and no government would want to read that and think `This is about me,"' Porter said Friday.

The Rev. Steve Porter speaks from his office at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Rialto on Friday. Aproduction company has been filming him in
The Rev. Steve Porter speaks from his office at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Rialto on Friday. A production company has been filming him in hopes of producing a reality TV series called "Divine Intervention." (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)

He said this, of course, while sporting a Hawaiian shirt, which he often wore while speaking with strangers on the streets or parishioners in the pews about life, love and a lot of other serious and not-so-serious stuff during the months of filming.

Sure, he counsels couples in broken marriages. But he also gets requests to baptize pets.

Spend enough time with the 61-year-old native of South Africa, and one instantly picks up on the charming traits and quirky contradictions that inspired Christopher to create a show based on a Roman Catholic priest he ran into at a funeral.

With a Bible on his office desk, Porter easily expounds on the TV series "House." He's as familiar with "Star Trek" as he is with St. Peter. He preaches from the Good Book, and posts on Facebook.

"A friend of my wife's passed away and so we came here to the church for the funeral," Christopher said. "And the next thing I know, this guy transformed this terribly sad situation into a complete celebration, and people were laughing and they were celebrating and all I could think of was, `My God, this guy needs his own show,' because he was funny, he was witty, intelligent, he was a great storyteller."

They exchanged e-mails and embarked on a project to capture the daily life of a priest ministering to the flock, the lost sheep and just the plain old lost.

Daniel Elias, president of New York-based Hybrid Films (responsible for the shows "Dog The Bounty Hunter" and "Parking Wars"), signed a deal with Porter and Christopher to produce the show after he was drawn into the footage of the priest who "plunged into the daily lives of others, sometimes at their most joyful of times, but often at their most desperate of times."

Porter said the show always comes back to one theme.

"It's going to be about spiritual life and how to grow in the spiritual life and how to use the spiritual life to overcome life's problems," he said. "I want to be able in this show to face real questions people have."

Those include questions about finances, facing death, dealing with abortion, how God can be good when there are wars in the world, and why priests take on a life of celibacy.

Porter cuts through the subject of sex and Catholicism with a double-edged sword of humor and humility.

"Sadly, abuse of children is endemic everywhere, not just among clergy, but everywhere. And the Catholic church has faced it - we were forced to face it, but we faced it, and we have it under control."

And celibacy?

"There's a lot of funny stuff about celibacy," Porter said. "I'm ... obsessive-compulsive. I have three dogs and four cats, and the bishop ... doesn't approve. And my response is, well bishop, when you let me get married, I won't have to have so many pets around."

That kind of wit and wisdom has caused networks to take notice at a time when, as Christopher said, "no one's been able to crack the reality and religion genre."

"The toughest thing is always finding a character who can anchor the show, and I think they found that with Father Steve," Christopher said.

He said media professionals who have seen the footage describe Porter as morally complex and a reminder of Peter Sellers or Hugh Laurie's lead character on "House."

"What appealed to people ... is that he has such a unique perspective on these things and how to deal with them, and it's not just about `Say 10 Hail Marys and everything will be fine.' It's really about the human condition and hope," Christopher said.

Porter acknowledged that his methods may not endear him to Christian viewers who expect to hear only Bible-based preaching to the unconverted.

"The Bible is very important, but there's more to life than Scriptures, and I know the evangelicals will go crazy when they hear me say that," he said.

Perhaps. But that philosophy has driven Porter to allow Christopher total access to his ministry. They've filmed everything from man-on-the-street interviews to funerals and requests for home visits.

"I've said yeah, I'll come around," Porter said. "Can I bring a camera crew?"