Young actress Chloe Wepper has been added to My Thoughts Exactly, ABC‘s comedy pilot from writer Jeff Lowell, Brillstein Entertainment and ABC Studios. It is a romantic comedy that exposes the unfiltered internal monologues of a young couple, Dana …
The Wire and Treme alum Wendell Pierce will recur on the second season of Showtime’s Ray Donovan. He will play Mr. Keith, a down-on-his-luck parole officer who gets a payoff from Ray (Schreiber). Pierce joins fellow new cast additions Hank Azaria, Sherilyn Fenn and Vinessa Shaw on the Mark Gordon Co-produced drama series. Pierce, repped by Paradigm and Essential Talent, co-stars on NBC’s The Michael J. Fox Show.
Somebody wants a piece of Showtime’s Ray Donovan. Specifically that someone is one Brian Larsen, who is claiming that the premium channel lifted his idea to create the hit Hollywood-fixer series starring Liev Schreiber. Southland creator Ann Biderman is credited with coming up with Donovan and is an EP on the Mark Gordon Company show. Not so, says Larsen, though neither Binderman nor Gordon is named as a defendant. In an 11-page breach of implied contract and breach of confidence complaint filed February 13 in L.A. Superior Court (read it here), the seemingly creditless Larsen and his Radical Pictures LLC says Donovan “mimics” his 2009 fixer concept The Swissman. Touting that the series has “enriched Defendants to the tune of millions of dollars,” Larsen wants Donovan stopped via an injunction and is seeking wide ranging but unspecified damages of more than $25,000.
The basic gist of the jury trial seeking complaint is that former Showtime Original Programming VP Danielle Gelber, who is called a “development executive” in the complaint, took a meeting with Larsen on his concept and WGA register script on November 5, 2010. Larsen’s idea was about a San Francisco-based fixer who discreetly handles high-profile clients problems and has a messed-up family – like Donovan but more Northern California than SoCal.
Vinessa Shaw (Vegas, 3:10 To Yuma) has signed on for a season-long arc on Showtime’s Ray Donovan. (SPOILER ALERT!) Shaw will play Kate, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Boston Globe who is writing a book on Sully (James Woods’ character from last season) and comes to L.A. to investigate his death. She joins recently cast Hank Azaria and Sherilyn Fenn in the upcoming second season of the Mark Gordon Co-produced series. Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber as LA’s best professional fixer, the man called in to make the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls’ most complicated and combustible situations go away. Shaw is repped by ICM partners, Thruline Entertainment and attorney Gretchen Rush.
Hank Azaria and Sherilyn Fenn have signed on for multi-episode arcs on the upcoming second season of Showtime‘s drama series Ray Donovan. Azaria will play James Cochran, the ambitious head honcho of the Los Angeles FBI who becomes a thorn in Ray’s (Liev Schreiber) side, and Fenn will play Cochran’s frumpy wife Holly Cochran. Ray Donovan stars Schreiber as LA’s best professional fixer, the man called in to make the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls’ most complicated and combustible situations go away. Production on the 12-episode second season from the Mark Gordon Co is underway in Los Angeles for a summer premiere.
Bryan Zuriff will serve 6 months home confinement and 2 years probation for his role in an illegal gambling group — but escaping the jail time the government recommended. Judge Jesse Furman today sentenced the former executive producer of Showtime’s Ray Donovan in federal court in NYC. Zuriff also must perform 300 hours of community service. Earlier this year, he was among 34 people charged with running gambling operations that allegedly have laundered more than $100 million. An FBI investigation saw charges against Zuriff and others unsealed in late April by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney. “Mr. Zuriff accepts full responsibility and has paid his fine for online gambling. We are grateful that the sentence demonstrates the judge’s recognition that Mr Zuriff was never involved in organized crime. He is excited to get back to his family and to continue his work as a producer,” one of the producer’s attorneys Charles Clayman told me after the hearing today.
Last week, lawyers for Bryan Zuriff filed a sentencing submission asking for lenience for their client for his involvement in an illegal gambling group — now the government has put in its two cents. Unlike Zuriff’s lawyers and famous friends like Judd Apatow who wrote letters of support, the feds said Monday that they want the former Ray Donovan EP to serve up to a year behind bars: the maximum for the charges. “In its November 18, 2013, Report to the Court, the Probation Department calculates a Guidelines range of six to twelve months’ imprisonment,” said the sentencing submission filed in federal court in NYC (read it here) yesterday. “The Government agrees with this Guidelines calculation, which is consistent with the calculation set forth in the plea agreement.” In making its point, the seven-page filing quotes from wiretaps that reveal how intrinsically Zuriff was involved in the group’s organization and activity. “Despite Zuriff’s intelligence, upbringing, and education, he was still not deterred from entering the illegal world of gambling. As such, a Guidelines sentence would serve to deter both the defendant and the public at large,” adds U.S. Attorney Prett Bharara in the submission.
After pleading guilty to running an illegal gambling operation on Friday, Ray Donovan executive producer Bryan Zuriff is taking a voluntary leave of absence from the Showtime series. Zuriff faces up to five years in prison and …
UPDATE: ‘Ray Donovan’ Executive Producer Bryan Zuriff Pleads Guilty In Gambling Ring Tied To Russian Mob, Faces 5 Years In Prison
UPDATED, FRIDAY 9:28PM: Days after Showtime picked up his freshman drama for a second season, the series’ executive producer Bryan Zuriff has pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling operation. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement today from New York that Zuriff faces up to five years in prison and has agreed to forfeit $500,000 as part of his plea deal, according to the statement. “Bryan Zuriff spanned the coasts with his crimes, by operating his own illegal gambling enterprise in Los Angeles, and helping to operate a vast illegal gambling enterprise in New York,” Bharara said. “With his plea, he becomes the first defendant, but not the last, to be convicted in this sprawling script of criminal conduct.” The plea comes on the heels of a very successful first month for Ray Donovan. The Liev Schreiber starrer debuted June 30 as the biggest original series launch in Showtime history. Then it became the premium network’s first new drama to see second-week gains. That led to its sophomore-season pickup on July 16. For the time being, Zuriff continues with his EP duties on the show.
PREVIOUSLY: In a bizarre story that reads like a Hollywood script, Bryan Zuriff, executive producer of Showtime‘s high-profile new drama series Ray Donovan, is among 34 people charged with running gambling operations that have allegedly laundered more than $100 million. The charges, a result of a massive FBI investigation, were unsealed today by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, with the accused, including Zuriff, referred to as “alleged members and associates of Russian-American organized crime enterprises.” In the indictment, Zuriff is listed as a “fugitive”, though people close to him strongly dispute that characterization, which may also mean that he had not been arrested yet. Zuriff, known in Hollywood as a high-stakes gambler, is charged with Operating an Illegal Gambling Business and Unlawful Internet Gambling, which carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. “The charges against Bryan Zuriff today came as a complete surprise to him,” said Zuriff’s attorney Matthew E. Sloan, partner at Skadden Arps in Los Angeles and a former federal prosecutor. “He denies any wrongdoing and looks forward to his day in court to confront them.”
Tara Summers (Boston Legal) rounds out the regular cast of Fox‘s hourlong pilot Rake, about criminal defense lawyer Keegan Joye (Greg Kinnear), brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter. Summers, repped by Resolution and Framework Entertainment, plays Leanne Zander, Keegan’s extremely put-upon but no-nonsense assistant. She recently recurred on FX’s Sons Of Anarchy and TNT’s Monday Mornings.
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