Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie
Credit: Paris & Nicole: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

and Nicole Richie are at risk of becoming dangerously underexposed now that Fox has made the decision to cancel the fourth season of The Simple Life, their fish-out-of-water reality series. Interestingly, despite all assurances that an alleged Hilton-Richie dustup would not prevent another season with the former BFFs (and not with Hilton and Kimberly Stewart, as was rumored), the network gave as the only reason for the show’s cancellation the “incompatibility” of its stars.

Nevertheless, producers of the show, 20th Television Fox and Bunim-Murray Productions, remained optimistic, alluding to an impending deal with another network (Bunim-Murray has some pull over at MTV, I hear). Us Weekly, who first reported the news, will also do their part, I’m sure, to keep Hilton and Richie in the warmth of the spotlight until they line up a suitable new network home. But oh, Paris and Nicole, how can we miss you if you don’t go away?

In happier news, CBS has given the thumbs-up to a seventh season of Big Brother and — breathe, breathe — Fox tells us that, despite the rumors and continued middling ratings, Arrested Development will, in fact, return in November after the baseball playoffs with an episode featuring a sure-to-be-genius guest star: Frankie Muniz.

addCredit(“Paris & Nicole: Kevin Winter/Getty Images”)