Just so you'll know her show is fictional -- or maybe so she doesn't have to sue herself for slander -- Jessica Simpson's character on her upcoming ABC sitcom will be called ''Jessica Sampson.'' Variety reports that the yet-untitled show, officially greenlit by ABC on Thursday, will star the singer/''Newlyweds'' reality star as Sampson, a pop culture notable who gets hired for a mainstream TV gig. But the job isn't at a sitcom, it's at a newsmagazine, where she'll cause chaos for the hapless producer. We know, it's confusing, even if you're not Mrs. Nick Lachey.
Given her newfound popularity, Simpson is re-releasing her modest-selling CD ''In My Skin,'' with some new songs (including a cover of Berlin's ''Take My Breath Away'') and DVD footage that includes bloopers from ''Newlyweds,'' MTV News reports.
Simpson's sitcom (coproduced by her father, Joe Simpson) was one of six pilots that ABC greenlit on Thursday, several of which are inspired by the real-life experiences of celebrities (or semi-celebrities). Among them is ''The Savages,'' inspired by producer Mel Gibson's own experience as the father of several boys. John Stamos may reveal some of his romantic history when he produces and stars in a show that spends an entire season (à la ''24'') chronicling a couple's first date. And former Entertainment Weekly contirbutor Joel Stein has sold a show inspired by his gig at Time magazine, where he was named the magazine's youngest-ever columnist. Maybe ABC can schedule these programs alongside Kelly Ripa's ''Hope & Faith'' or Chris Henchy's I-married-Brooke-Shields show, ''I'm With Her.''