Director, "Heroes" actress in talks for Fox comedy

Chris Columbus and “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere are in talks to board the Fox Atomic teen comedy “I Love You Beth Cooper for a spring start.

Panettiere would play the titular character, a comely cheerleader who is the object of a nerdy valedictorian’s obsession. They embark on a series of misadventures after he proclaims his love for her in his graduation speech.

Project is based on a tome by Larry Doyle, a former scribe for “The Simpsons.”

Columbus had already signed on to produce the project through his 1492 Pictures shingle.

Panettiere plays a cheerleader in the Peacock’s “Heroes” skein and also appears in the upcoming Julia Roberts starrer “Fireflies in the Garden.”

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