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    Jessica Puts Up Her Dukes

    Who wears short shorts? Jessica Simpson does.

    The curvy chanteuse of Newlyweds fame has clinched the coveted role of Daisy Duke in the upcoming film The Dukes of Hazzard, Star magazine reports.

    Simpson's father and manager, Joe, gushed about his daughter's big screen debut.

    "She is really excited," he told Star. "Daisy Duke is right down her alley."

    The remake of the late-'70s/early-'80s cult classic television show about the hick Duke cousins and their tricked-out Dodge Charger is set to begin production this summer.

    The "With You" singer nabbed the role out from under the pert noses of a posse of hopefuls--most notably, Britney Spears, who'd been rumored to be the frontrunner for the role.

    (We're thinking that someone in casting got a whiff of Spear's acting technique in Crossroads.)

    Other screen queens said to have been in contention for the role included Mandy Moore and Jessica Biel.

    Simpson's Hazzard triumph may serve as consolation for the would-be thespian whose sitcom pilot was rejected by ABC for its fall lineup.

    On the other hand, it may fan the flames of spousal rivalry, seeing as Hot Momma, the pilot starring Mr. Simpson, aka Nick Lachey, wasn't picked up either--but so far, no one's offered the former 98 Degrees singer any juicy movie roles.

    The not so newlyweds will return to MTV in June for their third season of debunking the myth that being attractive, rich and famous automatically breeds marital bliss.

    They'll also recap their best Sonny & Cher impression for the return of the Nick & Jessica Variety Hour, scheduled to air around Christmas.

    That's not it for Simpson, who continues her quest for total market saturation--she and sister Ashlee are teaming up to promote Hershey's new Ice Breakers Liquid Ice mints.

    When her breath's not smelling minty, it will likely reek of sweets, as the In This Skin singer continues to promote her edible cosmetics and fragrance line, Dessert, which launched in Sephora stores last month.

    On top of everything else, Simpson is somehow still managing to hit the North American concert circuit this summer with the "Jessica Simpson Reality Tour," which kicks off June 4 in New Orleans.

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