Newlyweds and The Ashlee Simpson Show return Jan. 26 as Lachey starts his own series

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 19, 2005 08:30 AM

Whether being married for two years qualifies as newly wed remains to be seen, but MTV reality show couple Jessica Simpson, 24, and Nick Lachey, 31, are putting the term to the test. Ten new episodes of their Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica will air beginning with a third-season premiere Jan. 26.

Among the adventures that will unfurl before the TV cameras, reports the Associated Press, will be the couple’s housebreaking of their new dog, Daisy, and Jessica gearing up for her role as Daisy Duke in an upcoming movie version of the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard.

MTV also has announced that The Nick Lachey Project will debut in April, following the singer’s efforts on his new solo album, which is expected to be released later this year. In that regard, Billboard reports that Lachey has signed with Jive Records, home of Britney Spears. Lachey’s former label, Universal Records, issued his first solo CD, SoulO, in November 2003 (the company also represented Lachey’s former band, 98 Degrees). SoulO, sold only 160,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

“Viewers will see a different side of me than in Newlyweds and be able to understand exactly what goes into the making of an album,” Lachey said about his new show.

Also on Jan. 26, Jessica’s kid sister, Ashlee Simpson, will return in The Ashlee Simpson Show, which will document the singer “as she skyrockets to the top of the music industry and is then forced to face the other side of fame, including intense press scrutiny and live performance mishaps,” MTV says in a statement, referring to her Saturday Night Live lip-synching flap in October.

Speaking to MTV herself, Ashlee, 20, says she has bought her first home, in Studio City, Calif., and is sharing it with two of the young women who appeared as her friends in her video for “La La.”

“It’s so much fun. We’ve been decorating it and everything, it’s kinda got like a retro vibe,” says Ashlee, who also admits, “I am the messiest in the house, by far. My girlfriends are messy, too, but I win. I take the cake!”