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'Newlyweds' Jessica Simpson signs scripted sitcom development deal with ABC


By Reality TV World staff, 11/09/2003 

Susan Lyne, president, ABC Entertainment announced yesterday that Jessica Simpson, already the star of MTV's Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica unscripted television series, has entered into an additional development deal with ABC to star in a scripted comedy series. Ted Harbert and Joe Simpson (Jessica's domineering father and manager) are attached to the project as executive producers.

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"Jessica has infectious energy and unmistakable star quality," said Lyne. "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."

"This deal is a great and logical next step for Jessica and the evolution of her career," said Joe Simpson. "We're very happy to consider ABC part of our professional family, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with the network."

Simpson first made her mark in the world of contemporary Christian music. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Jessica was sharing bills with gospel great Kirk Franklin and Ce Ce Winans while still in junior high. Word of the then-teen's phenomenal voice and stage presence soon filtered out of the Christian circuit and, in the late '90s, Jessica signed with Columbia Records. "Sweet Kisses," her major label debut, was released in 1999 and spawned the smash singles "I Wanna Love You Forever," "I Think I'm in Love" and "Where You Are." Following the release of her debut, Jessica hit the road, wowing audiences worldwide with her soaring emotion-packed vocals and high-energy stage presence.

She and husband Nick Lachey are currently shooting the second season of their hit MTV reality series, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, the top-rated cable original series in the October ratings period. She is also on tour supporting her third album, "In This Skin," and her single, "With You," is currently climbing the pop charts.

In the acting arena, Jessica has had a recurring role on That '70s Show and appeared in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

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