Rapaport inks 20th TV deal, joins 'Earl'

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Michael Rapaport has inked a development deal with 20th Century Fox Television.

Under the pact, the studio will develop a project for the actor targeted for the 2008-09 season.

Additionally, Rapaport is joining the cast of 20th TV's comedy for NBC "My Name Is Earl" as a recurring.

"He is a TV star," 20th TV senior vp casting Sharon Klein said. "He is one of the few guys out there that can carry a show. He is very compelling."

She added that Rapaport is "enthusiastic about doing either comedy and drama."

Rapaport has some ideas about potential characters and stories but is open to pitches from 20th TV-based writers.

"All writers want to meet with him," Klein said.

If the project developed for Rapaport doesn't go forward, he could be cast in another 20th TV pilot.

After fielding multiple offers, Rapaport opted to go with 20th TV based on the good experience he had starring in "Fugly," the studio's comedy pilot for CBS, this past development season. His stint on the pilot, written and executive produced by "Earl" creator/exec producer Greg Garcia, also led to his recurring character on "Earl," which Garcia created for him.

When it returns for a third season in the fall, "Earl" will find Earl Hickey (Jason Lee) in prison. Rapaport will play a fellow prisoner.

During the past two seasons, Rapaport starred on the Fox comedy "The War at Home."

He is repped by the Gersh Agency.
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