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Who’d have thunk That ’70s Show would turn out to be a breeding ground for Hollywood powerbrokers not seen on a sitcom since that ’50s show, Happy Days, launched Ron Howard, Henry Winkler and Anson Williams? But a new deal has Wilmer Valderrama competing with former costar Ashton Kutcher in the race to become the new Dick Clark.With Ashton established as a producer with shows like Punk’d, Beauty & The Geek and The Real Wedding Crashers, Wilmer’s signed a deal with reality powerhouse and American Idol producer FremantleNorth America to develop and produce his own scripted and unscripted series around the world.
Fremantle NA’s CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz, the Idol producer who’d assured a worried nation that Sanjaya Malakar would soon be voted off the competiton (days later, he was), calls Wilmer a “talented tour de force.”
Wilmer created, produces and hosts the MTV series Yo Mamma. And though he’s best known around town for “dating” young actresses and celebutards (Ashton likes them older– wayolder), his excellent performance in the movie Fast Food Nation (Avril Lavigne proved to be a surprisingly good little actress, as well– it’s a flick every burger lover should check out) bodes well for his starring role on Erik Estrada’s cycle in CHiPs).