By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - In further proof that Christmas comes earlier every year, NBC announced on Tuesday that it's ordered a one-hour holiday special, "How Murray Saved Christmas," from "The Simpsons" producer Mike Reiss.
The special, based on Reiss' children's book of the same name, revolves around cranky deli owner Murray Kleiner, who's forced to step into Santa's shoes one Christmas and does a weirdly wonderful job.
The special, which is slated to air in December 2014, will be produced by Universal Television, with Rough Draft Animation ("The Simpsons Movie," "Futurama") handling the animation duties. Walter Murphy, who composed the big-screen Seth MacFarlane comedy "Ted" as well as numerous episodes of MacFarlane's "Family Guy," will compose for the special.
"'Murray' is the perfect project to get audiences into the holiday spirit, and Mike's impressive comedic background makes him a great choice to put all the pieces together," NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke said.