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Jason Lee Returns to TV with Delta Blues

sg_jasonleeTNT announced this week that Jason Lee will be taking on the starring role in a new TNT pilot entitled Delta Blues. The new series is described as an offbeat drama about Dwight Hendricks, a Memphis police officer who lives with his mother and moonlights as an Elvis impersonator.

Lee spent four seasons playing karma king Earl Hickey in the NBC comedy My Name Is Earl. The popular comedy experienced severely declining ratings and was canceled last fall.

“Jason Lee is the ideal choice to bring the compelling, off-kilter Dwight Hendricks to life,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).  “With extraordinary talent in front of and behind the camera, along with an outstanding script, Delta Blues is shaping up to be a hugely entertaining show and a great fit with our lineup of original dramas.”

Delta Blues will be penned by writers Liz M. Garcia (Cold Case) and actor Joshua Harto (The Dark Knight) who is making his first endeavor into TV writing. George Clooney is among the project’s executive producers along with Grant Heslov. Also executive producing is Garcia, while Harto will get a producer credit. Clark Johnson (The Wire, The Shield) will direct the pilot and also receive an exec-producer credit.

After NBC canceled My Name Is Earl, TNT sister network TBS tried to continue production of the show this year, but budget issues thwarted the move. Lee earned several acting nominations for the role.

Lee has been busy on other fronts as well. Lee and Luke Watson co-created a live-action comedy for Adult Swim set in the world of skateboarding. Lee is attached to direct and star in the comedy, which is now in development.

On the big screen, Get Back, which Lee will direct, tells the story of two music-obsessed friends who time-travel back to 1966 London, where one gets caught in a love triangle with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

In Hollywood, Lee recently finished his involvement on Kevin Smith‘s A Couple of Dicks. Lee has been a Kevin Smith fixture since his 1995 film Mallrats. He also wrapped production on George Gall and Kevin Pollak‘s Columbus Circle. Lee is set to reprise his role from Alvin and the Chipmunks with a cameo in the upcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

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