HBO's 'Hard Knocks' picks Miami Dolphins; 'NCIS' star Michael Weatherly guests on 'Major Crimes'

hard-knocks-dolphins-gi.jpgA heaping plate of bite-sized TV news, including items on yet another singing competition on NBC and another Thomas Harris-related series in development.

- HBO will focus on the Miami Dolphins for the new season of its docu-series "Hard Knocks," which returns after a one-year, NFL lockout-induced hiatus. The show about the Dolphins' training camp under first-year coach Joe Philbin will debut Aug. 7, 10 days after the team opens camp. [ NFL/HBO]

- "NCIS" star Michael Weatherly will play the other side of the law when he guest-stars on TNT's new series "Major Crimes" later this summer. He'll play a con artist posing as a life coach -- and who dreams of having a show on OWN -- in an episode set for early in the show's run; "Major Crimes" premieres Aug. 13. [ TVLine]

- Hey, look: Another televised singing competition! NBC has greenlit "The Winner Is," a game show that will pit solo singers and groups against one another in head-to-head vocal competition. The twist is that after each round, competitors can drop out in exchange for a cash prize. If they stay in and win their round, they advance toward a top prize of $1 million. [ NBC]

- NBC already has "Hannibal," a series about the early days of Hannibal Lecter and FBI profiler Will Graham, in the works for midseason. Now Lifetime wants to take author Thomas Harris' source material and do a series about "Silence of the Lambs" heroine Clarice Starling. The show would follow Starling's after she graduates from the FBI academy, which would put the timeline post-"Silence" and pre-"Hannibal." [ TV Guide]

- HBO is developing a series about a pro basketball team with "Tower Heist" writer Jeff Nathanson and producer Gavin Polone ("Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Zombieland"). The show would focus on a world of "money, sex, power and temptation" open to the team's players and management. [ Deadline]
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