Ashlee Simpson Cast In Nicole Richie Sitcom

Rumor: Christmas has come early for singer/actress Ashlee Simpson-Wentz. Things are looking up for Broadway’s newest darling — who was unceremoniously axed from The CW’s Melrose Place just two months into the inaugural season — and she owes it all to Nicole Richie.

Ashlee Simpson-WentzNicole Richie

Nicole, a reformed wildchild-turned-devoted mom, recently announced plans to star in and produce a new television sitcom based on her life. Nicole’s first executive decision as series creator was casting bestie Ashlee, 25, in a supporting role on the show, according to a new report.

“Nicole adores Ashlee, and she truly believes in her talent,” says a Richie informant, who spilled the dish in the Dec. 21 issue of The National Enquirer.

The young mothers have such a great time during their kids’ playdates, Nicole has decided that she’d enjoy working alongside her dear friend. However, insiders suggest Nicole’s generous gesture may have been prompted by a wave of pity for her old chum Ash. Ashlee’s ten-week run as “Roxie” in Broadway’s Chicago ends in early February, and the “Pieces of Me” star was facing unemployment before Nicole came through with the offer of a lifetime.

The Enquirer writes: “With few other job prospects on the horizon, Ashlee — who desperately wants to establish herself as an actress — was feeling down until Nicole stepped up and promised: ‘I’ve got your back. What are girlfriends for?’”

Now Nicole is making good on her promise. The socialite is having writers craft a co-starring role on the show especially for Ashlee.

The still-untitled series will feature Nicole as a struggling single mom trying to balance a thriving career and a quirky family. The show will premiere in 2010.