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MTV extends Lachey honeymoon

Lachey latches on to MTV skein

While the honeymoon for “Newlyweds” may be ending, MTV is taking out a new lease on Lachey.

Music channel announced Wednesday it has greenlit the third and final season of “Newlyweds,” and will extend the franchise by giving hubby Nick Lachey his own series as part of its aggressive strategy to program the 10 p.m. hour.

In addition, MTV has made series commitments to “Meet the Barkers,” an “Osbournes”-style look at the married life of Blink 182’s Travis Barker, and a second cycle of “The Ashlee Simpson Show,” which will include the pop tart’s infamous “SNL” snafu.

Cabler has ordered eight episodes each of “Nick” and “Barkers” for next year.

“Newlyweds” and “Ashlee” rep some of MTV’s highest-rated and most buzzed-about series from the past year and a half. New episodes of both will bow in January.

MTV Networks entertainment prexy Brian Graden says the orders rep “the first wave in our move toward 52 weeks of originals in the 10 spot.

“Once again, we’re breaking the traditional TV model by introducing a constantly changing roster of original series every week of the year,” he said.

Lachey’s show will follow the star as he works to get signed on to a new label and record another album. “Barkers” will center on the rock ‘n’ roll family life of Blink’s Barker, a husband and father of two.

News follows MTV’s recent orders for three additional cycles of “Punk’d” (Daily Variety, Sept. 28) and a third hidden camera prank show, “Damage Control.” Meanwhile, Sunday Stew residents “Viva La Bam” and “Pimp My Ride” are going strong in their respective fourth and third seasons.

Also on tap for next year are fresh ideas “Trippin,’ ” the Cameron Diaz-hosted travelogue; “Power Girls,” a look at how press maven Lizzie Grubman orchestrates the celeb nightlife on both coasts; and “Wild N Out,” the improv comedy competish hosted by Nick Cannon. (Daily Variety, Nov. 8).

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