LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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HANK (ABC) - Melissa McCarthy ("Samantha Who?") is returning to the Alphabet for a multi-episode arc on the freshman comedy, Entertainment Weekly reports. She'll play Dawn, the wife of David Koechner's character and sister-in-law to Kelsey Grammer's Hank. No other details were given about the role.
JACKSON FAMILY DYNASTY (A.K.A. THE JACKSON FAMILY) (A&E) - The cable channel is moving forward with its reality series about the lives of Jackson 5 members Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy Jackson. A&E commissioned an hourlong backdoor pilot special earlier this year, which was designed to give "unprecedented access into their world as they embark on their most personal reunion album and tour." With the death of Michael Jackson however the project will now be refocused on "the impact of Michael's death on the extended Jackson clan." Point Seven Entertainment ("Jamie Foxx Presents Laffapalooza") is behind the series, with Jodi Gomes and Lori Hannah serving as executive producers.
LIE TO ME (FOX) - Lennie James ("Jericho") has been cast as a potentially recurring nemesis for Tim Roth's character on the show's second season. Entertainment Weekly reports he'll play Ray Marsh, "a charming Brit who ran scams with Lightman way back when and who is now on the FBI and Scotland Yard watch lists. Ray once took the fall for Lightman and spent time in prison as a result. Now, after a 20-year estrangement, Ray is back to collect what he believes he is owed." James will make his first appearance in the fifth episode back.
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF... (Bravo) - Broadcast & Cable reports NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution has cleared the franchise for an off-network run beginning in the fall of 2010. Between its Orange County, New York City, New Jersey and Atlanta - as well as the soon-to-launch Washington, D.C. - editions, the company will have more than 100 hours of "Housewives" available for the syndication package. Already on board are the NBC and Hearst television station groups on an all-barter basis (i.e. no cash, just half the advertising time for national ad sales) with additional clearances potentially on the way.
UNTITLED GARLAND TESTA PROJECT (ABC, New!) - "King of the Hill" executive producer Garland Testa has scored a script commitment from the Alphabet for a new multi-camera comedy about "young parents trying to maintain the fun of their youth while trying to grapple with the adult concerns of parenthood." The project, which has a penalty attached should it not go to pilot, is set up at 20th Century Fox Television where Testa has an overall deal.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters