Ali Larter has more than 30 acting credits on her résumé since 1999’s Varsity Blues, but she’s still probably best known for the scene in which her cheerleader tries to seduce James Van Der Beek while wearing a whipped-cream bikini.

(Go ahead and click over to that scene. You were probably going to Google it anyway, right? Hopefully, you’re safe at work. We just ask that you come back to read the rest of this post.)

Twenty years later, Larter is ready to play a cheerleader again but under very different circumstances. Larter is set to star in The Sidelines, a comedy being developed for Fox, portraying a 40-year-old separated mother of two who wants to pursue her dream of being a pro football cheerleader. She ends up making the cheerleading squad for her hometown Detroit team and becomes a mentor for her teammates.

(Lions fans might chuckle at Detroit being the team used in the story. The Lions went more than 40 years without having an official cheerleading squad until bringing dancers back in 2016.)

The Sidelines has a few hurdles to overcome before we see it on TV, however. Fox gave a script commitment to the project, meaning that the network will wait to see whether the script is any good before giving approval to shoot a pilot. If Fox is happy with the pilot, then the production will be greenlit for a series.

If The Sidelines is picked up, it will be the second sports-related series Larter has starred in for Fox. She played the agent of Major League Baseball’s first female pitcher on the short-lived baseball series Pitch. Most recently, Larter has had a recurring role on ABC’s The Rookie as an ER doctor.

Larter will also be an executive producer on the series, along with Ben Stiller, whose Red Hour Films is one of the production companies involved in the project with Fox’s Sidecar Content Accelerator. The script will be written by Kate Gersten, who’s most recently worked on NBC’s The Good Place.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.