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“My Name Is Earl” star Jason Lee is jumping back into TV as the lead in “Delta Blues,” TNT’s pilot executive produced by George Clooney.
Additionally, he has a live-action project in the works at Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and has signed on to direct the indie film “Get Back.”
The hourlong “Delta Blues,” from Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures and Warner Horizon, centers on Dwight Hendricks (Lee), a Memphis police officer who lives with his mother and moonlights as an Elvis impersonator.
Michael Wright, TNT and TBS head of programming, called Lee “the ideal choice to bring the compelling, off-kilter Dwight Hendricks to life.”
Clark Johnson is directing the pilot from a script by Liz M. Garcia and Joshua Harto. Clooney, Heslov, Garcia and Johnson serve as executive producers, with Henry Bronchtein and Abby Wolf-Weiss co-exec producing and Harto producing.
Lee came close to toplining a series on TNT sister network TBS this year when TBS tried to continue “Earl” following its cancellation by NBC, but budget issues thwarted the move.
Lee earned several acting nominations for playing lovable hick Earl Hickey on the show, which ran for four seasons.
As for Lee’s other projects in the hopper, he co-created and is co-producing with Luke Watson a live-action comedy for Adult Swim set in the world of skateboarding. Lee also is attached to direct and star (in second position to “Delta”) in the comedy, now in development.
Produced by Matt Berenson, “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.
Lee recently wrapped Kevin Smith’s “A Couple of Dicks” and George Gallo/Kevin Pollak’s “Columbus Circle.”
He is set to reprise his role from “Alvin and the Chipmunks” with a cameo in the upcoming “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.”
Lee is repped by WME, manager Gay Ribisi and attorney Ken Richman.
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