E! orders another round of 'Simple'

E! Entertainment Television is giving a thumbs up to “The Simple Life.”

Cabler has ordered another round of the Paris Hilton-Nicole Richie franchise, which made its move from Fox to E! barely a month ago. E! prexy-CEO Ted Harbert is expected to announce the renewal today at his net’s portion of the TV Critics Assn. summer press tour.

Next batch of episodes will debut sometime in 2007, a person familiar with the production said.

Renewal is a major victory for producers Bunim-Murray Prods. and 20th Century Fox TV. Skein might have been a casualty of the network reality wars after Fox Broadcasting opted not to renew the show last fall.

Instead, execs at 20th were able to find a home for the franchise at E!, which also picked up the show’s library of 36 episodes from its first three seasons (Daily Variety, Nov. 29).

Fourth season of “Simple Life” — dubbed ” ‘Til Death Do Us Part” — tripled E!’s primetime average when it debuted June 6. Since then, it’s continued to boost its timeslot ratings more than 50% over prior E! programming.

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