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Lachey teams on laffer

Thesp will play a retired baseball player on skein

Nick Lachey will duet with scribe Etan Cohen for a half-hour laffer set up at Fox.

Cohen (“King of the Hill”) will write and exec produce the project, which sprang from a development deal Lachey inked earlier this fall with the net and 20th Century Fox TV-based Brad Grey Television.

Lachey will play a retired baseball player returning home to his dysfunctional family. Brad Grey Television is producing the show; a small penalty is attached to Fox’s script order.

After breaking into television with wife Jessica Simpson in two seasons of the MTV reality series “Newlyweds,” Lachey has slowly broadened into solo work. He guest-starred on “Charmed” and “Hope and Faith” and will soon appear on his own MTV reality show, “The Nick Lachey Project.”

Lachey, who has begun to record his second solo album, also did a cameo in the Columbia Pictures comedy “Bewitched” and plays a role in Blue Star Pictures production “The Hard Easy.” He shot a comedy pilot for ABC last spring, but the net didn’t move forward with the project.

Cohen, who has an overall deal at 20th Century Fox, takes the job after scripting two features. With Mike Judge, Cohen co-wrote “3001,” the Judge-directed comedy that stars Luke Wilson and Dax Shepard. With Ben Stiller and Justin Theroux, Cohen has co-penned “Tropic Thunder,” a DreamWorks comedy that Stiller plans to direct.

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