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CASTING CORNER
 
Thursday, April 8, 2004
Love in the Public Eye

With their first-ever primetime "Variety Hour" on ABC, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are today's version of Sonny and Cher. Add new CDs, TV pilots, plus season three of "Newlyweds" already in production, and itís clear that this is a couple with careers in overdrive. And Ellen DeGeneres couldnít help but notice when they dropped by her show.

"You all couldn't be hotter right now. You're on the cover of TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly, twice," Ellen said to Jessica and Nick, Friday during her talk show.

"This US cover is my favorite," noted Nick. "It says 'Is Fame Tearing Them Apart?' and we look so happy on the cover."

When "Extra" met up with the happy couple backstage after the show, they talked about life in front of the cameras 24/7. So how do they manage to find time for each other and satisfy each otherís needs? "Weíre working on that actually," Simpson told us.

"Iím completely unsatisfied," Lachey joked. "Itís funny you bring that up. Iíve been meaning to talk about that with her."

But once he became more serious, Lachey told us, "It's really all that we know, and it's been a part of our relationship for so long, it'll only be after the cameras are all gone that we'll know any different. It'll be like our marriage starting over."

Simpson also doesn't find much time for cleaning, as DeGeneres pointed out to the pop star saying, "Youíre the messiest person Iíve ever seen in my entire life." But she offered her some help, giving her an Ellen cleaning starter kit, which scored big points with Nick.

"The best thing she did, she told Jessica to put her clothes in the hamper," Nick told us. "That for me catapulted Ellen to the top of my list."

And you can check out the new Sonny and Cher in action for yourself, when "The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour" airs Sunday night on ABC.

EXTRA BYTES
EXTRA NICK & JESSICA
Jessica's "In this Skin"
Nick and Jessica Q&A
Simpson headed to success
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