TV Article

Skit and Caboodle

ABC gives Nick and Jessica their own variety special. Jewel, Babyface, and Kenny Rogers will join the newlyweds for some ''Sonny and Cher''-style fun

Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson | NEWLYWEDS' GAME A little variety is good for Simpson and Lachey's marriage
Image credit: Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images/NewsCom
NEWLYWEDS' GAME A little variety is good for Simpson and Lachey's marriage

Life and art continue to become hopelessly jumbled in the world of reality TV couple Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. Last January, around the time they hosted an episode of ''Saturday Night Live'' (which was rebroadcast on Saturday) and spoofed themselves as the hosts of a ''Sonny and Cher''-like variety show, they were actually developing such a show for ABC. Now, the ''Nick and Jessica Variety Hour,'' complete with a kitschy lineup of guests, has an airdate of April 11. ''It's very Sonny and Cher,'' Simpson recently told People.com. ''It's 'Saturday Night Live' to the next level.''

The guest list certainly looks like the kind of stars who might have appeared on a 1970s variety show or Bob Hope special, or maybe as passengers on ''Love Boat.'' According to the Associated Press, they include Kenny Rogers, baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, Mr. T, and Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. In a slightly more contemporary vein, there'll also be appearances by Jewel (duetting with Simpson on ''Who Will Save Your Soul'') and Kenneth ''Babyface'' Edmonds (duetting with Lachey on Stevie Wonder's ''For Once in My Life''). If the show is a success, it could become a regular series (ABC has production deals with both of the ''Newlyweds'' stars), just like Sonny and Cher's -- to be followed, no doubt, by a bitter divorce, a congressional career for Lachey, and an Oscar for Simpson.

Originally posted Mar 22, 2004
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