The Ruben Studdard-Clay Aiken competition continues to find new arenas -- first ''American Idol,'' then the record store, and now in TV sitcomland. This week came the news that both performers will make their TV acting debuts in upcoming weeks, playing themselves -- Studdard on UPN's Tuesday sitcom ''One on One,'' and Aiken on NBC's Wednesday comedy/drama ''Ed.''
According to UPN, Studdard's episode will find the performer taking sides in a rivalry between single dad Flex (Flex Alexander) and neighbor Duane (Kelly Perine) in an election for condominium board president. Duane manages to book Studdard to sing for the residents in hopes of swaying votes -- perhaps not an effective strategy, given that Studdard's performance this fall at a rally supporting a tax referendum in his native Alabama failed to sway voters to pass the bill. The episode will air during February ratings sweeps, UPN said.
NBC is mum on the details of Aiken's ''Ed'' appearance, which will air in January. All we know is that he'll get stuck in Stuckeyville with Ed (Tom Cavanagh) and his quirky pals. No doubt he'll also find an opportunity to sing; maybe he'll show off his bowling skills as well.