12:08pm PT by Jethro Nededog
VH1 Announces Official 'Mob Wives Chicago' Cast
Chicago’s mob scene is about to get the VH1 treatment.
The network announced the official cast on Wednesday for its Mob Wives spinoff, Mob Wives Chicago. It will premiere this spring.
According to the release, the series will follow the lives of five women who are “allegedly” (to quote Mob Wives star Renee Graziano, “What mob?”) connected to the Windy City’s famous mob group, “The Outfit.”
Distinct from the five families that run New York City’s mafia scene, Chicago’s mob syndicate dates back to the 1910s. Its best-known leader is Al Capone. “The Outfit” is known to have control not only in Chicago, but also in cities in neighboring states and across the Midwest with satellite families reaching into California.
The original Mob Wives is currently airing its second season Sundays at 8 p.m.
Created and produced by Jennifer Graziano of JustJenn Productions, Mob Wives is produced by The Weinstein Company, Electus, and Left/Right. Executive producers for VH1 include Shelly Tatro, Kari McFarland, Rick Hankey and Jeff Olde. Sean Gottlieb serves as supervising producer for VH1.
Here’s the official cast descriptions for Mob Wives Chicago according to VH1’s release.
RENEE FECAROTTA RUSSO: Renee is a strong independent businesswoman who was raised by her uncle, “Big John” Fecarotta, following the death of her father. An alleged loan collector and hit man for “The Outfit,” Fecarotta was Renee’s mentor and best friend until being gunned down by fellow mobster Nick Calabrese. Fiercely loyal to his memory, Renee still abides by the “code”: never associate with rats…take it to the grave.
NORA SCHWEIHS: Nora is back in Chicago to take care of some unfinished business. Nora’s father, Frank “The German” Schweihs, was reputed to be one of the most notorious hit men for the Mob. Schwiehs, whose alleged “hits” were not limited to the Mob, has long been rumored to be responsible for the death of Marilyn Monroe. Shortly after his death in 2008, the government confiscated his remains before he could be properly buried. Nora has returned to Chicago to learn the whereabouts of his body. Despite growing up hearing stories of his viciousness and brutality, Nora idolized her father and she continues to defend him… even to his grave.
PIA RIZZA: Pia may have a mouth like a trucker, but she’s spoken zip about her father since she was a little girl. Vincent Rizza was a dirty Chicago cop who worked for the Mob, testified against the Mob and then went into the Witness Protection Program. Pia has struggled all her life to hide from the shame of having a “rat” for a father. It’s been especially difficult to avoid the judgments and finger pointing in a town that celebrates the folk heroes and glory days of the Mob.
CHRISTINA SCOLERI: As an unemployed divorced mother of a 9-year-old, Christina is struggling to provide a stable environment for her daughter. Christina is the daughter of Raymond Janek, a one-time thief and alleged fence for the Mob. Serving 20 years off and on for various offenses, Janek finally went straight in 1987, and his relationship with his daughter remains distant. Christina’s father is a reminder of her own unstable upbringing, and she’s determined not to repeat the sins of her father.
LEAH DESIMONE: Leah is the over-protected daughter of William “Wolf” DeSimone, a supposed “associate” of the Mob, but Leah’s keeping mum. Leah never knew, and knew never to ask what her Dad did for a living. Leaving one day in a suit, Wolf would return days later in street clothes with no explanation and none expected. Now “retired,” Wolf still keeps tabs on his little girl. But as vigilant as he is of her safety, Leah is equally secretive of her Dad’s profession … if you’re “connected,” you NEVER talk about it!
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro