LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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DELTA BLUES (TNT) - The cable channel has commissioned a pilot for the drama project, about "an outstanding but unusual Memphis cop who moonlights as an Elvis impersonator and lives with his mother." Liz Garcia ("Cold Case") and Josh Harto penned the Warner Horizon Television-based hour and are executive producing alongside Smokehouse Pictures's George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Abby Wolf-Weiss. Casting is underway.
DRY (Showtime, New!)/THE NATURE OF FIRE (CBS, New!) - Augusten Burroughs ("Running With Scissors") has set up a pair of projects, including a comedy at Showtime and a drama at CBS. The former, dubbed "Dry," is based on the author's experience as an advertising executive struggling toward sobriety. The latter, "The Nature of Fire," will center on "a group of male firefighters whose world is rocked when they're joined by a female arson investigator." Burroughs is penning both efforts and executive producing alongside Created By's Vince Gerardis ("FlashForward") and Katalyst's Karey Burke, Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg ("The Beautiful Life") for CBS Television Studios. As previously reported, Bryan Fuller and Bryan Singer are developing a small screen take on Burroughs's book "Sellevision" for NBC.
FAMILY GUY (FOX) - Microsoft has dropped out as the sole sponsor of the show's upcoming "Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show" special. Said development reportedly comes after the company's executives attending its October 16 taping and grew concerned over its content. "We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of 'Family Guy,' but after reviewing an early version of the variety show, it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand," said a Microsoft spokeswoman. "We continue to have a good partnership with Fox, Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein and are working with them in other areas. We continue to believe in the value of brand integrations and partnerships between brands, media companies and talent." The special will nevertheless continue with another, yet-to-be-named, sponsor when it airs on November 8.
FLASH FORWARD (ABC) - Paula Newsome ("Women's Murder Club") is the latest to land an arc on the freshman drama, Entertainment Weekly reports. She'll play a doctor in several upcoming episodes however details about her character weren't released.
GHOSTS/ALIENS (Comedy Central) - Joey Kern ("The Sasquatch Gang") has been tapped as the new lead of the comedy pilot, about "two potheads who set out on a quest to expose the truth about the existence of ghosts and aliens." He'll take over from Jonathan Sadowski as one of said men, Trey Hamburger. Keir O'Donnell, Allan McLeod, Kaylee DeFer, Keir O'Donnell, Nathan Barnatt and Rebecca Wisocky also star in the project, which Michael Patrick Jann is directing from a script by Phil Johnston.
GOSSIP GIRL (The CW) - Sherri Saum ("In Treatment") has booked a multi-episode arc on the series. She'll play Holland Kemble, "a powerful business executive-turned-Upper East Side trophy wife and could be trouble for Lily (Kelly Rutherford) and Rufus (Matthew Settle)." It's not clear when her first episode will air.
HOUNDS (Comedy Central) - Ron White is back in business with the cable channel as the comedian will lend his voice to a new animated comedy described as "a blue-collar Southern neo-gothic comedy." Chris Thompson ("Ladies Man") is behind the half-hour which White will also co-executive produce. As for specifics, White will voice Chicken, "a countrified Yoda with a bottle of Jack and a bag of weed, an opinionated Southern philosopher who considers himself the center of the universe." Earlier this year, White toplined a pilot presentation for the network in which he "looked at stories from across the country and ran them through his everyman perspective."
RAVENS PARISH (FOX, New!) - Feature writer Dan McDermott ("Eagle Eye") has scored a script commitment from the network about "a man and his teenage son who return to their rural Mississippi hometown in search of a fabled cavern hidden beneath a nearby swamp that allegedly holds hidden treasure." McDermott, who previously served as head of current programming at the network, will pen the hour and executive produce for 20th Century Fox Television. Generate's Peter Aronson and Jordan Levin are also attached as executive producers via their first-look deal with the studio.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters