ABC announced yesterday that it had picked up six comedy pilots -- including an untitled pilot starring Newlyweds star Jessica Simpson.
Simpson will play a "fictional version of herself" named Jessica Sampson in the sitcom. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pilot is a Murphy Brown-like workplace-based ensemble centered around a hard-working female primetime newsmagazine producer whose world "turns upside down" when the network brings Sampson onto the program as a part-time on-air reporter.
Simpson had signed a development deal to star in a scripted comedy series for the network in November. "Jessica has infectious energy and unmistakable star quality," ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne said at the time. "She also has a built-in fan base in both music and television, which is a great jumping off point for us. We're looking forward to developing the ideal showcase for her considerable talents." Added executive producer Ted Harbert "Jessica has clearly become the new 'America's sweetheart,' and ABC is the perfect network to showcase her natural comedic instincts."
The second season of Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, the MTV reality show that follows the misadventures of Simpson and husband Nick Lachey as they adapt to married life, recently debuted to strong ratings on the cable network.
Lachey recently also signed his own development deal to star in a comedy or drama pilot for ABC, however according to reports, the couple will not co-star on the same program -- although the programs might air as a block on the same evening.