Production on NBC's popular new comedy "My Name is Earl" has been suspended because its star, Jason Lee, has the chicken pox.

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The hiatus is expected to last at least three weeks, an NBC spokesman told People magazine.

Most of the ensemble cast said they had the highly contagious disease when they were children, People said. But "Earl" creator and executive producer Greg Garcia said there would be no writing around the leading man.

"He'll be in all the episodes," Garcia told People. "We're just shutting down until (Lee) is feeling better and is presentable to put on TV again."