Nick Lachey Forging Ahead With Solo Career, Says 98 Degrees Reunion In The Cards

Singer also working on next variety show with wife Jessica Simpson.

NEWHALL, California — Although SoulO never quite escaped the shadow of "The Newlyweds" or wife Jessica Simpson's In This Skin, Nick Lachey is not giving up on a solo career.

The former 98 Degrees singer has left Universal Records and hopes to sign a new label deal in the next few weeks.

"I'll start recording probably later this fall and hopefully have a single out next spring sometime," Lachey said earlier this week during a break from shooting his first movie, "The Hard Easy" (see "Nick Lachey's Big-Screen Debut: Tough Guy With A Calculator"). "I'm excited to do an album that really feels like mine from start to finish and to have the artistic freedom to do that, do it the way I wanna do it."

Along with recording a follow-up to SoulO, Nick has been talking with his 98 Degrees buddies about getting back together.

 

On the set of "The Hard Easy"

"We would love to actually see 98 Degrees come back together and do something at some point," Lachey said. "Not because we feel like we have to or we need money or anything, just 'cause we'd like to do it, for the same reasons we got together to begin with. The four of us hold those experiences, those memories, very dearly and there'll be a right time for that to happen."

That time might have to wait, however, as Jeff Timmons and Nick are continuing with solo careers, and Nick's brother, Drew, just started his run in the Broadway production "Rent." "We went to see him on opening night," Nick said. "He's doing a great job."

Nick has quite a bit of acting on his plate as well. Along with "The Hard Easy," which co-stars David Boreanaz of "Angel," he's done multiple episodes of "Charmed" and just signed a development deal with FOX and studio-based Brad Grey TV ("The Sopranos") to star in a half-hour or one-hour series created for him.

As part of an earlier development deal with ABC and Touchstone TV, Lachey shot a pilot that was not picked up in May (see

"Nick Lachey's New Job? Errand Boy For 'Hot Mamma' Gina Gershon"), but it could technically still get greenlit before the end of the year.

Regardless of what happens with his own shows, Lachey will definitely return to ABC in December for a second variety show with Jessica, which the couple is shooting this week.

"It's a Christmas variety show, just lighthearted fun," Nick said. "I get a chance to work with Jessica and we sing together and so it should be a good time."

Nick and Jessica are keeping the details of the show under wraps, but one possible duet is "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which the couple sing on Jessica's holiday album, due November 23. "I kinda played that Dean Martin thing," Nick said. "Old school. It's cool."