Comedienne Sarah Chalke has tried her hand on a few established shows and pilots in the last year, but nothing has stuck yet. 20th Century Fox is looking to give her a chance to shine in her own show next year, and has signed a development deal to that effect.

Chalke finished a 9-season run on Scrubs in 2010, though she only appeared in four episodes during the final season. She had a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother (a CBS show produced by Fox) the year before that. Chalke played a starring role in midseason dramedy Mad Love, but CBS scrapped the show after a half-season.

The actress has been in high demand since Scrubs finally ended on ABC. She’s been attached to two 2011 pilot projects, neither of which was picked up. That isn’t stopping Fox from investing in Chalke, whose comedy chops and considerable presence should be a big plus to any project she’s attached to.

The deal will have Chalke working directly with 20th Century Fox’s TV branch to create a premise and pilot tailor-made for her. If that doesn’t pan out, Fox executives will be keeping an eye open for pilot roles that fit Chalke’s style.

Sarah Chalke and Jason Biggs in Mad Love, now cancelled.

Fox executives had nothing but praise for Chalke’s work. Chairman Gary Newman went as far as comparing her to the late great Lucille Ball, saying Fox was “determined to get her this year. She is incredibly talented as a comic force — she can do physical comedy and has great timing. There is almost a Lucy quality to her.

Chalke herself mentioned that she’d love to work with How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas on a new show. While there aren’t any plans to bring her character back at the moment, Chalke said that she “would do it in a heartbeat.”

With a renewed interest in Chalke after the cancellation of Mad Love and Fox’s new and very definite investment, fans can expect to see her in a new starring role by the fall of next year.

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Source: Deadline Hollywood