Rapper-turned-actor T.I. – who will guest star on the second season of the Chicago-based Starz series “Boss” – had lunch at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in River North Thursday.
T.I. sat at the V.I.P. table at Harry Caray’s and ordered the chicken vesuvio. From what I hear, he spent most of the time on his phone but was more than willing to take a photo with the Harry Caray statue on his way out.
T.I. (real name: Clifford Harris) will play a former gang member with City Hall aspirations on “Boss.” The show is currently filming in Chicago and will wrap July 11, according to the show’s star and co-executive producer Kelsey Grammer.
Grammer was honored with the Career Achievement Award during the 48th annual Hugo Television Awards – presented by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival – Thursday at the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel and told me how T.I. became a part of “Boss.”
“One of the producers worked with T.I. and he and I discussed a few projects together,” Grammer said of co-executive producer Brian Sher, who also happens to be T.I.’s manager. “It seemed to dovetail nicely. … We love the guy.”
How familiar is the 57-year-old Grammer with T.I.’s work?
“Not hugely familiar,” Grammer said. “But I’m familiar with him. We got along pretty well.”
Heads up: Former “Real Housewives of New York City” star Bethenny Frankel will sign bottles of Skinnygirl Thursday at the Jewel Osco on N. Ashland Avenue and Binny’s Beverage Depot in the South Loop. … “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno will perform at the Cadillac Palace Theater April 28 in honor of OMNI Youth Service’s 40th anniversary. Click here for tickets. … "Ice Ice Baby" rapper Vanilla Ice will perform at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire May 18. ... Former “Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander will sing the 7th inning stretch during Wednesday's Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
Casting news: Vince Vaughn will star in the big-screen adaptation of the 1970’s TV series “The Rockford Files, according to Deadline. Vaughn will play ex con-turned-private eye Jim Rockford. ... Former “Apprentice” winner and “Giuliana and Bill” star Bill Rancic is getting a second show on Style Network, “Ultimate Home With Bill Rancic,” and will co-host the NBC dating show, “Ready for Love,” with his wife Giuliana.
Sightings: Oscar winning actress Marlee Matlin dined at RPM Italian Tuesday. … Andrew Zimmerman, host of Travel Channel's “Bizarre Foods,” was spotted at Roof in The Wit hotel Wednesday. ... Kim and Khloe Kardashian arrived at O'Hare International Airport Thursday with their mom, Kris Jenner. I'm told the scene was a "zoo."
Watch this: Showtime's "The Franchise" doesn't premiere until July 11, but the series, which follows manager Ozzie Guillen and his Miami Marlins, will air a half hour preview Saturday.
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