Nicole Richie's Returning To TV With 'Great News,' But Is This Her First Scripted Acting Gig?

She's come a long way since her days as an celebrity sidekick: Thursday it was announced that Nicole Richie will be co-starring in Great News , an upcoming sitcom from the producers of 30 Rock, and executive produced by Tina Fey. The role will find Richie as Portia, a "hip, young co-host of The Breakdown," a news show-within-the-show. This series looks like it could be a fresh career change for our girl: It seems like only yesterday that Richie was co-starring on The Simple Life with then BFF Paris Hilton, and it was only yesterday that Richie was starring in her reality show, VH1's Candidly Nicole. There's no questioning that she's a television veteran in her own right — but is Great News Richie's first scripted role?

Well, as it would turn out, Richie has plenty of credits beyond playing, you know, Nicole Richie. OK, if you want to get technical, Richie's first scripted role was as herself, doing a brief celeb cameo in the Season 4 finale of Six Feet Under. She followed that up with a slew of bit parts in Eve, Rock Me Baby, American Dreams and 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter, capitalizing on her mid-00s success. Then, she made her feature film debut in 2005's Kids in America.

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Later, she re-emerged triumphantly on Chuck in 2008, kicking ass (literally) as Heather Chandler, a former bad girl cheerleader who once tormented Sarah turned into a kung-fu fighting spy. The recurring role launched Richie two guest spots and a bit more credibility... but since then, she's only returned to television as herself, even if it's to play herself yet again on shows like Fox's Empire.

So, this certainly isn't Richie's first scripted television role, but it really is her first starring role playing a scripted character, and that's a huge undertaking in itself. As of this time, it's uncertain if she's going to put any of her other projects on hold; I very much doubt that she's going to scrap her fashion line House of Harlow to become a world famous actress. But, as the future of Candidly Nicole is up in the air, it could just turn out that Richie is going to leave some of the past behind and committing to Great News for the long haul. Congratulations either way on the new!