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May 19, 2009 at 09:50 PM EDT

Sherri Shepherd might be a polarizing figure, but I’ve always admired her penchant for honesty in her time on The View — about what she does and doesn’t know, and about her sometimes-messy personal life. She’s also damn funny as Tracy Jordan’s wife on 30 Rock. So putting those two aspects of her personality together in a new sitcom for Lifetime seems like a great idea to me. Sherri will follow the scripted adventures of a single mom startlingly like Shepherd in her pre-View days — she’s juggling being a paralegal and a struggling actress.

It’s hard to judge these things without seeing them — and the few clips Lifetime showed at a media presentation a few weeks ago were chuckle-worthy but hardly mind-blowing. However, it’ll team nicely with Rita Rocks (Nicole Sullivan’s cute-enough sitcom about a mom in a rock band). And with summer’s upcoming dramedy Drop Dead Diva — about a shallow model who dies and comes back to life in a plus-size lawyer’s body — it could mark a promising-ish turning point for the network known as “television for women.” (Despite the cringeworthy premise,  Drop Dead Diva has some startlingly sweet and satisfying moments, not to mention the fabulous Margaret Cho in a supporting role.) Sure, the new offerings aren’t exactly substantive, but they’re a nicebreak from schmaltz, with some snappy writing and relatable femalecharacters.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Do you like the idea of Sherri Shepherd in a sitcom? Does this mark a new era for Lifetime?

addCredit(“Carol Kaelson/Lifetime Networks “)

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