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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 5

Former 'Idol' finalist Kellie Pickler signs Fox sitcom development deal

By Reality TV World staff, 11/09/2006 

A week after the release of her debut album, 20th Century Fox has revealed that it has signed former American Idol 5 finalist Kellie Pickler to a sitcom development deal.

According to Daily Variety, the project -- which recently received a script order -- would have Pickler playing "a naive small-town Southern girl -- a character based on herself -- who discovers that her biological father is the state's well-respected governor." Although the discovery initially puts her biological father's presidential dreams at risk, their new relationship eventually winds up helping his popularity in the polls.

Watson Pond and 19 Entertainment (Idol's production company) are also working on the untitled project, with Watson Pond producer Brad Johnson, Idol creator Simon Fuller, and Malcolm Young set to executive produce the series. That '70s Show's Chris Peterson and Bryan Moore have been tapped to write and create the project.

According to Variety, it was Pickler's humorous Idol behavior -- which was capped by a series of finale night segments in Wolfgang Puck attempted to educate Pickler about culinary cuisine -- that first impressed Johnson. "She's fresh and sparkling and sweet, and we decided it would be great to take some of that natural comedic ability and put her in a situation comedy, surrounded by an ensemble," Johnson told the trade paper.

Should Pickler's sitcom project actually make it to the air -- or even film a pilot -- it would mark a new first for a former Idol finalist. Last year, former American Idol 4 finalist Constantine Maroulis signed a sitcom development deal with ABC, however the project reportedly never got past the script stage.

"Small Town Girl," Pickler's debut country music album, sold approximately 79,000 copies in its debut week, a performance that placed it ninth on Billboard's U.S. album sales chart for the week ending November 5. The album also ranked first on the week's Top Country Albums chart.

Pickler's debut numbers represent a new first week debut album sales record for an American Idol non-Final 2 singer (Pickler finished sixth on Idol's fifth edition.) Back in June 2004, the self-titled debut album of former Idol 2 fourth-place finisher Josh Gracin had debut week sales of 57,048 units. In May 2004, "One Love," Idol 2 third-place finisher Kimberley Locke's debut album, sold 56,727 units in its debut week.

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