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TNT Picks Up Three New Series

TNT picked up three new series, a Steven Spielberg-produced alien-invasion drama starring Noah Wyle, a George Clooney-produced show entitled “Delta Blues,” starring Jason Lee and “Rizzoli & Isles,” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. All three shows have received orders for 10 episodes.

“Delta Blues” and “Rizzoli & Isles” will both begin this year but the untitled alien-invasion series will not debut until 2011 because it requires a longer post-production process for special effects.

The network also renewed the freshman dramas “Men of a Certain Age,” “Dark Blue” and “Hawthorne” while picking up the canceled NBC cop drama “Southland.”

Michael Wright, the head of programming at TNT, didn’t originally expect to pick up all three pilots but “if it works and is going to improve the performance of the network, we thought let’s find a way to do it.”

The untitled Steven Spielberg, which will be TNT’s first sci-fi series, project stars Wyle as the leader of a rough and tough group of soldiers and civilians who are all struggling against an occupying alien force.

“We want to challenge ourselves and our audience to expand our horizons while concentrating on what’s working for us — character-based, populist-themed dramas,” Wright said.

“Blues,” revolves around the life of Dwight Hendricks (Lee), a Memphis police officer who lives with his mother and moonlights as a musician. While “Rizzoli,” centers on the crime-solving team of Boston police detective Jane Rizzoli (Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Alexander).

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