Poor Chris Hardwick. The floppy-haired second banana of Singled Out has watched as Jenny McCarthy belched and bared her way to stardom, eventually outgrowing the Gen-X Love Connection and getting her own NBC sitcom.

Hardwick was still there when Carmen Electra replaced McCarthy last November.

And now that Electra has inked her own TV development, Hardwick will probably be there when MTV pulls the plug on Singled Out.

What a trooper.

The speculation that Singled Out has been singled out by MTV for extinction has shifted into overdrive with news Tuesday that the cable music network's production arm has signed a new deal with ex-Playmate Electra.

MTV Productions--which develops feature films and non-MTV tube projects--will try out Electra in a variety of formats (sketch comedy, variety, drama, etc.) to find a perfect vehicle for her for one of the broadcast networks, according to Daily Variety.

Obviously, they wanted to sign Electra while she was hot. The wannabe actress recently landed a recurring role on Baywatch and had a cameo in Good Burger (produced by MTV corporate parent Viacom).

Her new pact means she won't likely be hanging out with Hardwick and the rest of the Singled Out crew much longer. Even with the eye-friendly Electra, the rowdy matchmaking show has seen its ratings slip and the feeling among TV types is that Electra won't be replaced and the show will go bye-bye.

MTV Productions has a hot streak of its own. It's responsible for McCarthy's Jenny gig on NBC, and all three of its pilots will be on the fall schedule: Jenny (NBC), Hitz (UPN) and Three (the WB).

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