EXCLUSIVE: It’s a happy ending to the pilot season for Jeff Hephner after all. The actor, who after grueling auditions landed the lead in NBC’s drama pilot Playboy but was replaced after the table read with Eddie Cibrian, has been tapped for a co-starring role opposite Kelsey Grammer on the Starz eight-episode drama series Boss. Coincidentally, like Playboy, the Lionsgate/Grammnet-produced Boss is set and filming in Chicago. Written by Farhad Safinia and directed by Gus Van Sant, Boss centers on Kane (Grammer), the mayor of Chicago, who is diagnosed with a degenerative mental condition that only he and his doctor know about. Hephner will play the state’s treasurer, an impeccably handsome and ambitious Chicago native who is clearly about to become a major player on the Chicago political scene. Hephner, repped by Paradigm and the Group Entertainment, is recurring on CW’s Hellcats and has also done arcs on NBC’s Mercy and Fox’s The O.C.