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Real Life Ray Donovan Script Plays Out For Executive Producer

The scene in the courtroom played out like a true Hollywood script, with a well-known television producer admitting to living in an illegal underworld. Only this series did not play out on television, but rather in real life for Bryann Zuriff.

The Ray Donovan executive producer pleaded guilty on Friday to operating an illegal gambling operation in a Manhattan Federal Court. Zuriff has since removed himself from the hit Showtime television series.

"I'm incredibly grateful to have been a part of the extraordinary 'Ray Donovan' family," said Zuriff in a statement. "Out of respect for my colleagues at the newtork and everyone involved with the show I'm voluntarily taking a leave of absence so that the resolution of my personal legal matters won't distract from the audience's great response to the program."

Zuriff is part of a large scale investigation into a gambling outfit with ties to the Russian mob. Zuriff did not reveal whether he was part of the connections to the mob, but did acknowledge in his plea deal that he helped operate the gambling ring. He will now face up to five years in prison, and had to forfeit $500,000 that authorities assert Zuriff acquired through the illegal business.

Ray Donovan has become one of the hit shows of the Summer over the first season of its existence. The show features Liev Schreiber, who takes care of the problems of the rich and famous in Hollywood. Donovan has been so well received by viewers that Showtime executives have already renewed the show for a new season.

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