TV has had mixed success with 20th-century period pieces in the past few years: "Mad Men," "Swingtown," "Magic City," "Pan Am" and "The Playboy Club," for example, have run the gamut of creative and popular success. CBS will take the next stab at 10 p.m. Tuesdays with "Vegas."
I liked a previous working title, "Vegas Rising," better than the current moniker, which is both blander and creates an identity crisis for those of us who remember the Robert Urich series from decades past. Nevertheless, "Vegas" definitely stands as the most intriguing new CBS show, thanks to its based-on-a-true-story subject, set in the desert oasis in the 1960s, and the intensity that gangster Michael Chiklis brings to his clashes with rancher-lawman Dennis Quaid. Jason O'Mara and Carrie-Anne Moss only add to the promise of the cast.
Nicholas Pileggi ("Goodfellas," "Casino") is exec producing with Greg Walker, Cathy Konrad, Arthur Sarkissian and James Mangold, the director of "Cop Land" and "Walk the Line." Mangold directed the pilot.