Jessica Simpson will go from reality TV to scripted TV for her next venture: a comedy based on her life. Simpson will play herself in the unnamed sitcom being developed for NBC.
According to TV Guide, the network has greenlighted filming a presentation -- a pre-pilot that will give the network enough footage to consider ordering the show for the next season. The pilot will be written by executive producer Nick Bakay ("Zookeeper"), along with Ben Silverman -- who brought Simpson on to the reality competition "Fashion Star" -- and Simpson's manager and dad, Joe Simpson.
Simpson answers questions from "Fashion Star" fans:
So, is Jessica Simpson's life funny? She seems to think so. The star told the Hollywood Reporter, "I am so excited to work with Ben and NBC again, this time on a scripted comedy. I often find myself thinking that no one could ever make up the things that actually happen in my life -- so between the real-life elements and a great team of writers, I think we'll have people laughing!"
Silverman seems to think Simpson will kill it, comparing her comedic skills, kind of surprisingly, to the legendary funny lady, Lucille Ball. "Jessica Simpson is truly a modern-day Lucy with incredible comedic chops," he said, adding, "From running a fashion empire to wrangling her public image as a new mom, we see Jessica’s character approach a variety of ‘everyday’ circumstances that will get audiences laughing out loud."
The plot, based on the star's actual life, will work in the 32-year-old's second pregnancy. (Laughing yet?) Since she's due this summer, producers are deciding when to begin filming. The first episode, says TV Guide, may even be about the birth of her second child.
TV executives weren't wowed the last time the pop star tried to launch an acting career on the small screen. Back in 2004, riding on the popularity of the singer's hit reality show "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica," ABC cast the then 23-year-old in a pilot tentatively called "Jessica," about a flaky pop star named Jessica Sampson who becomes a news anchor.
According to the New York Times, ABC rejected the series after being disappointed with the pilot. The Times quoted one executive anonymously, who said of Simpson's work, "It was a valiant effort, but at the end of the day everyone seemed to think it wasn't the best use of her talent.''
Not that Simpson has been held back by such setbacks. She did some acting stints on "That '70s Show" and the movie "The Dukes of Hazard" and "Employee of the Month."
See Simpson on "That '70s Show":
The chart-topping singer, whose first album made No. 25 on Billboard, went on to build a successful brand. The fashion mogul's business, along with endorsement deals from companies such as Weight Watchers, performing gigs, and reality show specials such as "Jessica Simpson's The Price of Beauty," have given the businesswoman a net worth of around $100 million.
Simpson and Jennifer Hudson's Weight Watchers ad:
Successful in a sitcom or not, Simpson always has her business enterprises to fall back on. She may get the last laugh now.