History Channel saddles up ‘Tech’

Series explores evolution of frontier tools

The History Channel is revisiting the Old West and the casinos hit by professional cheaters from MIT in the new year.

Channel has greenlit “Wild West Tech,” an hourlong series exploring the technology of the frontier. Cabler has ordered 12 episodes of the skein, to be hosted by Keith Carradine and produced by Dolores Gavin.

Each themed hour — gold rush, brothel and hunting technology among them — will unveil the evolution of seemingly mundane items that often meant the difference between life or death on the frontier, including saddle, spurs and the introduction of barbed wire.

“West” launches March 30.

Cabler has also skedded the 90-minute Vegas spec “Breaking Vegas,” about the group of MIT students who made a fortune in the mid-’90s by counting cards in blackjack. Premiering April 4, docu produced by Atlas Prods. combines extensive reenactments with interviews. Production wraps this month; exec producer is Bruce Klein.

Spec coincides with the current casino craze on TV. The slew of gaming programming includes the upcoming “Casino,” from Mark Burnett; “American Casino” for Discovery Channel; Bravo’s “Celebrity Poker Showdown”; ESPN’s “World Series of Poker”; Travel Channel’s “World Poker Tour”; and Game Show Network’s upcoming “World Series of Blackjack.”

The History Channel is available in 86 million homes.

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