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'Ray Donovan' producer pleads guilty in online gambling case

A Hollywood producer has pleaded guilty in New York for his role in a high-stakes sports betting business run by an organized-crime enterprise.

Bryan Zuriff is executive producer of the Showtime series Ray Donovan. He pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to accepting a financial instrument in connection with unlawful Internet gambling.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH’-ruh) announced the plea Friday, saying Zuriff operated an illegal gambling enterprise in Los Angeles and helped run one in New York.

Zuriff faces five years in prison when sentenced in November. He’s agreed to forfeit $500,000. His lawyer hasn’t returned a message seeking comment.

Authorities in April indicted 34 people accused of being part of a scheme by two Russian-American organized-crime enterprises. They say the enterprises laundered $100 million from illegal gambling including poker games attended by celebrities and pro athletes.

'Ray Donovan' renewed for second season

No surprise here: Showtime’s summer hit Ray Donovan was just renewed for a second season. The show premiered June 30 and its most recent episode scored 2.2 million viewers Sunday night.

Liev Schreiber stars as L.A.’s best professional fixer, the man called in to make the problems of the city’s elite go away. Drama unfolds when his devious father, Mickey Donovan (Jon Voight), is unexpectedly released from prison, setting off a chain of events that shakes up the Donovan family.

Ray Donovan is on track to be our biggest season 1 show ever,” said David Nevins, president of entertainment for Showtime Networks, in a release. “Ann Biderman and the extraordinarily talented creative team, coupled with the brilliant ensemble cast led by Liev Schreiber, have produced one of the hottest new dramas of the year. We are proud and excited to pick up another season.”

'Ray Donovan' pilot: Watch it online here

If the boss isn’t looking, you can sit at your desk and watch the entire first episode of Showtime’s upcoming drama series Ray Donovan right here. Liev Schreiber stars as a guy who makes the problems of L.A.’s elite disappear, while Jon Voight plays his devious recently paroled father (Voight introduces the video below and says Showtime’s “Brace Yourself” slogan with just slightly more enthusiasm than if he was at gunpoint). Also: This online version is edited for content, so expect blurred boobies. Ray Donovan premieres after the final season debut of Dexter on June 30:
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'Masters of Sex' and 'Ray Donovan': Showtime teases two new shows -- VIDEO

Homeland wraps up its second season on Dec. 16, but Showtime is hoping viewers of its Emmy-winning thriller will keep tuning in on Sunday nights when they launch two new series in 2013. The cable network recently released a two-for-one trailer for Masters of Sex, which stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan (Party Down) as the real-life pioneering 1950′s sexologists, William Masters and Virginia Johnson; and Ray Donovan, starring Liev Schreiber as a Hollywood fixer who seems like a gritty combination of Pulp Fiction‘s Mr. Wolf and real-life investigator-to-the-stars, Anthony Pellicano.

Take a look at the clip below. READ FULL STORY

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