Pickler finds spotlight on sitcom

A sitcom star is born: Fox is developing a half-hour comedy revolving around “American Idol” finalist Kellie Pickler.

Pickler will play a naive small-town Southern girl — a character based on herself — who discovers that her biological father is the state’s well-respected governor. His presidential dreams are put in jeopardy, but the two form a father-daughter relationship that winds up helping his standing in the polls.

Twentieth Century Fox TV is behind the project, along with Watson Pond and “Idol” producer 19 Entertainment. Watson Pond’s Brad Johnson and 19’s Simon Fuller and Malcolm Young will exec produce. Chris Peterson and Bryan Moore (“That ’70s Show”) will write and create the project, which has landed a script order.

Johnson said he was impressed by Pickler’s comedic timing on “Idol.” The “Idol” finale even featured a running segment in which Wolfgang Puck tried to feed Pickler upscale cuisine — and drew laughs for the young singer’s reaction to the foreign fare.

“She’s fresh and sparkling and sweet, and we decided it would be great to take some of that natural comedic ability and put her in a situation comedy, surrounded by an ensemble,” Johnson said.

Pickler drew an “Idol” following for her brash honesty and mispronunciation of words like “calamari” and “salmon.” After finishing sixth in the competish, she signed with RCA’s country label BNA. Her debut album was released last month.

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