'Life' star pacts with net for TV deal

“The Simple Life” star Nicole Richie is pondering the sitcom life, signing a talent deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

Under the pact, 20th will look to develop a show around Richie or cast her in a pre-existing project. Richie and 20th Century Fox TV are already in business via “Simple Life,” which the studio produces with Bunim-Murray Prods.

Richie has never held a regular role in a TV sitcom, but 20th Century Fox TV prexy Dana Walden said she was sold on the star’s “comedic instincts.”

“Look at episodes of ‘The Simple Life,’ where the humor is completely derived by Paris’ and Nicole’s reaction to situations,” Walden said. “Consistently Nicole is able to mine comedy in the various episodes.”

Richie is already meeting with writers and said she had a basic idea of what she’d like to play, but nothing has been determined yet. She did hint that she’d like to play a character loosely based on herself — comparing it to Will Smith in “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”

“Things are funnier when you base them on your real life, when you make fun of yourself,” Richie said. “But it’s definitely a sitcom (not a reality show).”

Richie is touring the country supporting her new novel “The Truth About Diamonds.” She’ll also return in the fourth installment of “The Simple Life,” opposite former pal Hilton, now that E! Entertainment Television has picked up the show (Daily Variety, Nov. 29).

Richie said she jumped at the idea from the moment she was approached by 20th about signing a development deal.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more