News Briefs: NBC Is Trying to Make Jessica Simpson a Star Again

By Tim Surette

Jan 16, 2013


... NBC is developing a sitcom starring Jessica Simpson, a relic who once dominated the headlines of ditzy gossip magazines. Simpson would play a version of herself in a "Curb Your Enthusiasm-style look at her life." NBC has asked for a pilot presentation, meaning the network will film bits and pieces to get a feel for the show before NBC makes a decision. Producer Ben Silverman, the same man who joyrode NBC for a short while before driving it off a cliff, said he sees a Lucille Ball quality in Simpson, meaning that Ball apparently had bigger tits than I remember because THERE IS NO WAY THAT COMPARISON SHOULD EVER BE MADE THANK YOU. [TV Guide]


... In the grand tradition of basic cable-networks sticking one person with a name with another person with another name, TNT has ordered the pilot previously known as King and Maxwell to series. The drama follows a pair of private investigators, played by Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn, and is based on characters created by author David Baldacci. It's also worth noting that Ryan Hurst, Sons of Anarchy's Opie, is also in the cast, so yay! [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC has shuffled Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 again, removing both from their 10pm Sunday-night slots. It was a stupid idea to begin with, and the series-low ratings the Sunday airings received confirmed as much. The shows will still air in their normal Tuesday-night time periods (both shows have been airing twice a week). Replacing the comedies on Sunday night will be Shark Tank repeats. None of this ever made sense, and I suspect it never will. [Deadline Hollywood]

... TNT has passed on its pilot Trooper, starring Mira Sorvino as a mom who decides to become a state trooper. If it sounds familiar, it should: The project was originally on CBS's development plate and in contention for this year's schedule. [Deadline Hollywood]


... Yesterday marked the debut of The CW's The Carrie Diaries, and... it didn't do too great. The Sex and the City prequel averaged 1.6 million viewers and pulled in a 0.6 rating in the adult demo. Compare that to Arrow's impressive premiere (4 million, 1.3 rating) last October, and you'll understand why CW execs didn't tip their baristas this morning. [EW]


... Private Practice's Audra McDonald will guest-star on The Good Wife. She'll play Alicia's old nemesis from law school, and the two will go against each other in the courtroom in this sitcom storyline. [THR]

... Somebody handsome named Scott Foley (Grey's Anatomy, I'm told) will join the cast of ABC's Scandal toward the end of the current season. No word on who he'll play yet, but he'll be handsome you can bet your sweet ass on that. [TV Line]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • rye06p Jan 20, 2013

    NBC are always good for a laugh.

  • Shawn Jan 18, 2013

    Smells like an instant crash and burn given the network and the person!

  • NightDawg77 Jan 18, 2013

    The Jessica Simpson deal will either never see the light of day or will die a fast and painful death. We're talking about NBC here and then to top it off you're talking about NBC in combination with a person who has falling off the map some time ago, it rarely works out...especially on NBC!

  • Awesome-ness Jan 16, 2013

    Good move NBC, she has been dearly missed...

  • LiseLotteDive Jan 16, 2013

    What is happening to the really good show Wedding Band?

  • saintmark Jan 16, 2013

    While Jessica Simpson looks very good in a bikini I have always missed the part that is actually funny about her. I have seen very little of her that warrents her starring in a comedy unless it is her name which must hold enough power to have some folks watch her in the first episode.
    My hat off to her writers they are in for quite a big job.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 16, 2013

    Gee ABC, who would have thought randomly moving your sitcoms to a slot that makes absolutely no sense with virtually no promotion telling viewers where it is and with a dour lead-in would fail? Oh, besides everybody, I mean. You better not screw over these shows, they're actually funny stuff and you need to balance your funny ledger after Reba and Tim Allen's new shows.

    Jessica Simpson really needs to find a different niche, the current isn't working for her, and she's not a cute teen pop star anymore. Will this be it? No. I mean, I could analyze it until I'm blue in the face, but the answer is just going to be "no" every time, I'm confident. She's not a talented actress or even a passable bimbo, she's stiff and awkward and trades on sexuality she doesn't actually possess (I mean personality-wise). Ben Silverman is a hack who will be shooting himself in the foot here, and I plan to enjoy the circus of failure as he attempts to cover up this blunder during its failure.

    Fritz, no! How could you leave us? And partnered with Rebecca Romijn no less, that seems so awkward (she's a good actress, but a different style). Oh well, I'll still watch.

    Mira Sorvino is great, but that doesn't sound like the right project for her. She needs new representation and management, her career deserves better, she's an Oscar winner for corn's sake.

    The CW has awful, mediocre ratings any time of year, but midseason especially seems like a disastrous time to launch anything on a network that is watched by 0.3% of the population despite being FREE.

  • darkitp Jan 16, 2013

    speaking of Scott Foley , wasnt he supposed to be in a comedy with becki newton ?
    what happened to that show ?

  • kanniballl Jan 16, 2013

    You can't really compare anyone to Lucille Ball. Back then, when women were still not fully equal, she was both respected AND funny. She was insanely famous and popular as a result. She was kind of a pioneer in that effect.

    Today... I don't know who would fit that bill. For starters, there are tons of female actresses and comedians... many of which are respected. Not to mention that the gender-gap is nothing like it was back then. Jessica Simpson though: I wouldn't put on the list. She's hot and funny, but not in the same league.

    So, it's kind of like saying "Who's the Jackie Robinson of the 2000's" You really can't make that comparison with anyone today.

  • sleepy-sonic Jan 16, 2013

    That's why NBC is on the bottom

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