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Jessica Simpson
Chris Pizzello  /  AP file
Jessica Simpson is a fashion mogul as well as entertainer, with a line that carries her name and includes 22 product categories.
updated 6/13/2011 3:19:34 PM ET 2011-06-13T19:19:34

Jessica Simpson is taking on the role of mentor to aspiring designers for a new NBC reality series. The network said Monday that Simpson will help guide contestants in the series "Fashion Star" as they compete for a multimillion-dollar contract to launch their own brand.

Elle McPherson will host the show, which NBC promises to be a "true spectacle" taped in front of a studio audience and featuring music, dancers and models along with weekly challenges for the contestants.

Simpson, 30, ("The Dukes of Hazzard," TV's "The Price of Beauty") is a fashion mogul as well as entertainer, with a line that carries her name and includes 22 product categories.

"NBC is delighted to work with singer, designer, actress and pop culture icon Jessica Simpson," said Paul Telegdy, NBC and Universal Media Studios executive vice president. "With an almost billion-dollar lifestyle brand under her belt she is sure to be an excellent mentor to our up-and-coming designers."

The contestant who best combines fashion and business gets a contract to launch a line with three major retailers, which are yet to be announced. Buyers from each chain will serve as judges, keeping contestants in the competition by buying their designs.

Viewers won't have to wait to shop for what they see: Each week's winning design in categories ranging from suits to lingerie to accessories will be available for immediate online purchase.

Producers of "Fashion Star" include former NBC executive Ben Silverman, and Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves, original producers of "Project Runway."

"Project Runway," hosted by Heidi Klum, was a hit for NBC Universal's Bravo channel before a legal clash ended with the series moving to Lifetime.

The debut date for "Fashion Star" was not announced.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Jessica Simpson

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  1. Family affair

    Ace Knute Johnson, Eric Johnson,Jessica Simpson wearing Jessica Simpson Collection and Maxwell Drew Johnson attend Jessica Simpson Collection Fashion Show at Nordstrom on September 20, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Fabulous fashion line

    Ashlee Simpson and Jessica Simpson attend a Jessica Simpson Collection event at Dillard's on November 23, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. (Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images ) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. And baby makes three

    Former professional football player Eric Johnson, left, and Jessica Simpson attend the 25th Annual Footwear News Achievement Awards at the Museum of Modern Art on Nov. 29, 2011 in New York. Simpson and fiance Johnson welcomed to a baby girl, Maxwell Drew Johnson, on May 1, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Mike Coppola / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Baring all

    A pregnant Jessica Simpson is pictured on the cover of the April 2012 issue of Elle magazine. (Hearst Magazines via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Fashion star

    Jessica Simpson heads back to reality TV as a mentor on NBC's new show, "Fashion Star." According to E! Online, Simpson will act as a fashion guru on the show, which will follow 14 aspiring designers angling to get funding for their own lines. (Courtesy of the Jessica Simpson Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Style icon

    Jessica Simpson, recipient of the "Style Icon of the Year" award, poses for photographers at Us Weekly's Annual Hot Hollywood Style Issue event on April 26, 2011, in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. God bless America

    First Lady Michelle Obama, center, and Dr. Jill Biden, left, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, listen as Jessica Simpson sings "God Bless America" during an event to support military families at Coors Field in Denver on April 13, 2011. (Rick Wilking / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Me and my beau

    Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson backstage at the 2010 Rockefeller Center tree lighting at Rockefeller Center on Nov. 30, 2010 in New York.Simpson began dating the former NFL player in 2010 after he separated from his wife, Keri Johnson. On Nov. 14, 2010, Simpson announced her engagement to Johnson. (Kevin Mazur / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Poise and Gracie

    Jessica Simpson, right, and her mother Tina Simpson arrive at the 35th Annual Gracie Awards Gala at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 25, 2010. The award honors programming "for women, by women and about women." She won for her VH-1 series, "The Price of Beauty," and received the 2010 Dove Real Beauty Award. (Jeffrey Mayer / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Singing sisters

    Jessica Simpson, right and her sister Ashlee Simpson-Wentz pose at the LG Fashion Touch party in West Hollywood, Calif., on May 24, 2010. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Natural beauty

    Simpson claims was shot "with absolutely no makeup or retouching" for this May 2010 cover image of Marie Claire magazine. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Bringing smiles

    Stylist Ken Paves, left, Simpson, and Meena pose at the Operation Smile Annual Gala at Cipriani, Wall Street in New York on May 6, 2010. Since 2003, Simpson has served as Operation Smile’s International Youth Ambassador. (Jamie Mccarthy / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. The road to beauty

    Simpson films her new reality show "The Price Of Beauty" in Japan on Aug. 12, 2009. The reality series is based on society’s outlook of women’s bodies, Us Weekly reports. "She and a friend set off on a road trip around the world in search of what people find beautiful and why." (WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Dangerous curves?

    Simpson’s concert appearance at a chili cook-off on January 25, 2009 spurred comment and controversy about her new, more womanly look. (Logan Fazio / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Sweet smell of success

    In December 2008, Simpson made perfume her latest venture into the fashion and beauty world when she launched her new fragrance, "Fancy." (Jeffrey Mayer / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Slip of the tongue?

    Taking a break during a "Good Morning America" appearance in September 2008, Simpson showed that she's still young at heart. (Brad Barket / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Just a country gal

    Taking a break from the pop world, Simpson shows her Texas roots as she debuts music from her forthcoming country album “Do You Know” at the 16th Annual Country Thunder USA in July 2008. (Rick Diamond / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Catching some ZZ

    Simpson and Billy Gibbons of the legendary band ZZ Top were just a few of the many performers who took part in the “America: United in Support of Our Troops Concert” at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in May 2008. (Chris Park / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Trouper and troops

    Simpson posed with U.S. troops in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, in March 2008. She was there with the Pussycat Dolls and other entertainers for "Operation MySpace", a live concert on MySpace. (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Her QB

    Simpson and former heartthrob Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys take in an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks in Dallas in March 2008. (Tony Gutierrez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Fun in store

    Simpson came to New York in November 2007 for an in-store appearance at Macy’s at their flagship location in Manhattan’s Herald Square. (Rob Loud / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. In the swim

    Simpson, center, and her mom Tina, right, join models on the runway at the Jessica Simpson swimwear fashion show during July 2007 "Mercedes Benz Fashion Week: Miami Swim" at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach. (Allison Murphy / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Night at the museum

    Singer John Mayer leads Simpson as they leave the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala in New York in May 2007. (Evan Agostini / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Growing up

    Simpson said her role in 2006's "Employee of the Month" was an intentional departure for her. She played a discount-store cashier, not a sexpot. Film director Greg Coolidge said he had reservations about casting her, but saw she could handle the role. (Lionsgate) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. You like me ...

    Simpson accepts a People's Choice Award in January 2006 for her performance of the song "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" in the movie "The Dukes of Hazzard." (Robert Galbraith / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Made for walkin'

    Simpson and former husband Nick Lachey arrive for the MTV Movie Awards in this June 2005 photo. By Thanksgiving, the couple had announced their breakup. So began the claims and counterclaims of who did what, and who would receive what, after the marriage was dissolved. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Put up yer Dukes

    Jessica Simpson, wearing her new trademark shorts, live on the "Good Morning America" concert Series in New York's Bryant Park. Movie career? Music career? Who says you can't have both? (William Gratz / Abaca) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Flower boy

    Simpson gets a little gift from Lachey in this promo shot for the couple's quickly forgotten 2004 ABC special, "The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour." (James Sorenson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Working her strut

    Simpson paces the stage during a 2004 performance at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. What, no Daisy Dukes? (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Just hold on ...

    Simpson hangs on for a wild scooter ride as talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, right, cheers her on. Lachey speeds off in the background. (Chris Polk / Warner Bros. via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. She fought the law

    Jessica Simpson films a scene from her big-screen debut, "The Dukes of Hazzard." Simpson's workout regime to tone up for her role as Daisy Duke made for weeks of regular gossip fodder. Never before has the word "lunges" been used to such effect. (Lilo/sipa / Sipa Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Don't tell Demi

    In a guest appearance, Simpson joined the long line of women who get to push around Ashton Kutcher's character Kelso on Fox's "That 70s Show." (Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Can you touch this?

    Simpson performs at the DTE Energy Theater in Clarkston, Mich. Even as she's made a bid for the silver screen, Jessica carefully kept her music career front and center. (Bill Pugliano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. The lovely couple

    Simpson and Lachey, back in happier times. The two brought their personal lives into viewers' living rooms during three seasons of MTV's "Newlyweds," and Jessica gained a reputation for the occasional verbal misstep. Chicken of the Sea, anyone? (Robert Galbraith / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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