From Fashion Star to sitcom star: NBC is developing a comedy starring Jessica Simpson, TV Guide Magazine has learned. The show would feature Simpson playing a version of herself in a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style look at her life.
The network has given the greenlight for producers to shoot a "presentation" — which means even though it's not quite a pilot, there will be enough footage shot for NBC to consider ordering a show for next season.
Nick Bakay (Zookeeper, Paul Blart: Mall Cop) will write the pilot, which is based on a pitch developed by Robin and Nick Bakay. The show also comes from Ben Silverman and Joe Simpson.
The singer previously developed a sitcom at ABC in 2004 (in which she would have also played a character based on herself), after the MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica made her a household name. When that show didn't go forward, she focused her attention on growing a mini financial empire. With clothing lines, endorsement deals and entertainment gigs, the star's net worth is estimated at over $100 million.
Silverman first recruited Simpson to be a mentor on NBC's Fashion Star; it was out of that relationship that the new project was born. (She has also reupped for Season 2 of Fashion Star, which returns March 8.) Because the show will be based on her life, Simpson's pregnancy — she's due this summer — will be worked into the show. Producers are figuring out the best time to shoot the first episode, which could be about the birth of her second child.
Silverman says he sees a Lucille Ball quality in Simpson, and was eager to figure out a way to build a comedy around her.
"Having gotten the opportunity to work with Jessica on Fashion Star and see how funny she is firsthand, it seemed natural for her to end up in a situational comedy," Silverman tells TV Guide Magazine. "She has gone through her own life journey, now becoming a mother. Her unique yet totally accessible approach to family is something I think America will love and laugh at."
Silverman's Electus is producing the show with Universal TV. Simpson's other acting credits include a guest stint on That '70s Show and parts in the features The Dukes of Hazzard and Employee of the Month. In reality TV, she also starred in Jessica Simpson's The Price of Beauty.
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