LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE CITY/THE HILLS (MTV) - The cable channel has renewed both reality franchises, which wrapped their current seasons on Tuesdsay. Earlier this season Kristin Cavallari assumed "The Hills's" reigns from Lauren Conrad. Said pickup marks the sixth season of the series and the second for the Whitney Port-led "The City."
DELTA BLUES (TNT) - Abraham Benrubi ("Happy Town"), Celia Weston ("Observe and Report") and DJ Qualls ("Road Trip") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Dwight Hendricks (Jason Lee), "a Memphis police officer who lives with his mother and moonlights as a tribute artist." Weston will play Dwight's mother with Benrubi as Sgt. J.C. Lightfoot, "a 6-foot-5 Caucasian man with a braided ponytail who is only one-eighth Chickasaw but lives by his tribe's wisdom and dispenses sage quotations to the rest of the Memphis detectives," and Qualls as "a cop and Dwight's protege." Leonard Howz, Robyn Lively and Sam Hennings also star in the Warner Horizon Television-based hour, which comes from co-creators Joshua Harto and Liz Garcia. Clark Johnson is directing.
HONEST (HBO, New!) - Eric Simonson (Hallmark's "Hamlet") is developing a new drama at the pay channel about "a secretive man who goes on the run." He'll write and executive produce the hour alongside Carolyn Strauss and Manage-Ment's Dan Halsted ("Platinum"). No other details were given.
INSIDE JOKES (FOX, New!) - Merv Griffin Entertainment and "Entourage" star Kevin Connolly are set team for a potential new improv series at the network. The project, which has a pilot order, which is billed as "a rapid-fire collection of one-liners and gags." Production is underway with Connolly, Roy Bank, Ted Brunetti, Ron Ward and John Moffitt executive producing. Cameron Bender is the host of the series with Carrie Wiita, Lauren Rose Lewis, Jay Phillips, Paul Schackman and Mary Scheer among the featured players. Brunetti created half-hour, which Gerry Cohen ("Rita Rocks") is directing.
TRUE BLOOD (HBO) - Grant Bowler ("Ugly Betty") and newcomer Theo Alexander are the latest additions to the show's third season. Alexander will play Talbot, "an 'intensely beautiful' vampire, the boyfriend of Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), the vampire king of Mississippi." Bowler then is set as Coot, "a werewolf, the menacing ringleader of a biker gang." Both roles are billed as recurring. Other characters yet to be cast include "white trash Debbie, hot Latino orderly Jesus, handsome vampire Franklin, alpha male werewolf Alcid and hot but trashy Chrystal."
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters