Rapper T.I. out of prison, gets reality TV show

ATLANTA Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:14pm EDT

Rapper Clifford ''T.I.'' Harris poses for a portrait while promoting the show ''T.I.'s Road To Redemption'' in New York February 2, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Rapper Clifford ''T.I.'' Harris poses for a portrait while promoting the show ''T.I.'s Road To Redemption'' in New York February 2, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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ATLANTA (Reuters) - Grammy Award-winning rapper T.I. was released after almost a year in prison Wednesday, and a TV network swiftly announced a reality show deal with him.

The Atlanta entertainer, whose real name is Clifford Harris, was sentenced in October 2010 to 11 months in prison stemming from weapons possession and drugs charges. It was his second stint behind bars in three years.

A U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman said the musician would spend the next month in a residential transition facility.

Hours later, cable channel VH1 said it had teamed up with the 30-year-old "Got Your Back" singer for a 10 episode series that will follow his readjustment to outside life and the making of a new album.

"Can the 'King of the South' stay on the straight and narrow while juggling the chaos of his kingdom?" VH1 said in a statement. The series will premiere on December 5.

"Viewers have always connected with T.I. and we are definitely thrilled to show the next chapter of this incredible artist's riveting life," VH1 original programing chief Jeff Olde said.

T.I.'s career began as a rapper in 2001 and he went on to find success as a record producer and actor in movies like "Takers."

He was arrested in 2007 on federal gun charges on the same day he was due to perform at the Black Entertainment Television awards, and later sentenced to one year.

But in late 2010, he was deemed to have violated his probation when drugs were found in his car in Los Angeles and he was sent back to prison.

Federal prisoners typically spend the last portion of their sentences in Residential Reentry Centers, formerly called halfway houses, prisons spokesman Edmond Ross said. Prisoners normally are assigned to centers in or near their hometowns.

(Reporting by David Beasley and Jill Serjeant; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)

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