Why the star's flick ''Labor Pains'' got bumped to ABC family, and why it may not be such a bad thing for her career

By Missy Schwartz
Updated April 03, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

Labor Pains was supposed to be Lindsay Lohan’s comeback, cinematic proof that she’s more than a punchline for the gossip rags. But when word got out that the comedy (about a secretary who fakes her pregnancy to avoid getting fired) would be airing on ABC Family this summer, that goal suddenly seemed out of reach. ”It’s a charming little movie and Lindsay does a good job,” says a producer familiar with the project. ”The problem is, no one wants to see her in anything anymore.” Ouch.

The switcheroo has to sting — especially after the recent round of blogosphere snickering over Lohan’s bizarrely kitschy ad for Fornarina clothes and her line of self-tanners, Sevin Nyne. It’s a giant tumble from the height of her Mean Girls fame, but does it mean her career is kaput? Not according to one high-powered agent: ”Is anyone ever over? Look at Britney Spears.” And by returning to the squeaky-clean corporate family that launched her as a child star — Disney owns ABC Family — Lohan could pull off the image revamp she desperately needs. ”I’m excited for people to see the movie and say, ‘Oh, yeah, this is why I liked her in the first place,”’ says hopeful Pains producer Rick Schwartz. ”She’s talented, that’s undeniable. She just needs people who believe in her.” — With additional reporting by Nicole Sperling