Vegas (1978 TV series)

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Vegas
Vega$.jpg
The pilot intro of Vegas
GenreDetective fiction
Created byMichael Mann
StarringRobert Urich
Phyllis Davis
Bart Braverman
Tony Curtis
Naomi Stevens
Judy Landers
Greg Morris
Theme music composerDominic Frontiere
Composer(s)John Beal
Dominic Frontiere
Artie Kane
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes69 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Aaron Spelling
Douglas S. Cramer
Producer(s)E. Duke Vincent
Running time55 minutes
Production company(s)Aaron Spelling Productions
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkABC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseApril 25, 1978 (1978-04-25) – June 3, 1981 (1981-06-03)

Vegas (stylized as Vega$) is an American private detective crime drama television series that aired on ABC from April 25, 1978, to June 3, 1981. Vega$ was produced by Aaron Spelling, and created by Michael Mann. The series (with the exception of special episodes filmed in Hawaii and San Francisco) was filmed in its entirety in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The show stars Robert Urich as private detective Dan Tanna, who drove to his assignments around the streets of Las Vegas in a beautiful red 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible,[1] working for a wide variety of clients, helping solve crimes, and making Las Vegas a better place for residents and tourists alike.

Plot[edit]

Dan Tanna is a busy Las Vegas private detective whose many clients include Phillip Roth (Tony Curtis), a.k.a. "Slick", the owner of multiple hotel casinos, including the Maxim Hotel Hotel Casino, and Desert Inn Hotel & Country Club, in Las Vegas. Tanna is called often to investigate criminal cases, or even sometimes more absurd situations, such as a nun who claims to own the land on which the Desert Inn Hotel Casino stands.

Tanna lives on the Las Vegas Strip next to Circus Circus Hotel/Casino, in the theatrical showroom props warehouse owned by the Desert Inn Hotel and Country Club. The props warehouse where Tanna lives was converted into Tanna's living quarters. The design of Tanna's place allows him to park his red T-bird in his living room. Tanna also uses gadgets that were high-tech for the early 1980s, such as a car-phone and an answering machine that physically picks the phone up off the hook and into the microphone of a tape recorder.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Characters[edit]

Robert Urich is a tough but also sensitive Las Vegas private detective Dan Tanna, who is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. His combat past in Vietnam is illustrated through flashbacks in various episodes.

Phyllis Davis played Beatrice Travis, Tanna's assistant, who is a single mom and a former Las Vegas showgirl. There is evidence that she was married before, but her husband had died. Although she and Tanna made a dashing couple, their relationship seemed to be purely platonic.

Greg Morris played Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. David Nelson. Nelson was a no-nonsense Metro cop who often had Tanna's back in his cases, and vice versa. While Nelson was never one to breach protocol, he often secretly assisted Tanna in cases Metro Police couldn't officially touch.

Naomi Stevens played police sergeant Bella Archer, who also assisted Tanna and Nelson. Archer was used more extensively in the first season.

Bart Braverman played "Binzer", a part-time hotel pool boy who did Tanna's leg work and usually provided comic relief. In the beginning of the series, Binzer was a petty thief who fled to Vegas to escape his former partners in crime from back east, as described in one episode, where his real name is revealed to be Robert Borso. Tanna seemed to have taken him under his wing and used his knowledge and connections of the street.

Judy Landers played Dan Tanna's other assistant, Angie, who was also a showgirl, but unlike the savvy Beatrice was usually an airhead and would sometimes get things screwed up. She appeared only during the first season.

Despite being initially billed as a co-star, actor Tony Curtis appeared infrequently during the first season, and only made a few appearances in subsequent years.

Will Sampson played Harlon Twoleaf, Dan's buddy from Vietnam during the first season.

Catherine Hickland played Dan Tanna's older sister, Julie, in the pilot.

Guest Stars[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Episode list[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 23 April 25, 1978 (1978-04-25) May 9, 1979 (1979-05-09)
2 23 September 19, 1979 (1979-09-19) May 7, 1980 (1980-05-07)
3 23 November 5, 1980 (1980-11-05) June 3, 1981 (1981-06-03)

Crossovers[edit]

In the season 3 premiere of Charlie's Angels titled "Angels in Vegas", Robert Urich does a cameo as his Vegas character Dan Tanna at the end of the episode. This episode aired the week before the Vegas series premiere.

Syndication[edit]

Vegas was one of the first shows to air in off-network syndication on FX when it began in 1994; FX ceased airing episodes around 2000. Vegas is now airing on the Decades network as of July 2015.

Home media[edit]

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all three seasons of Vegas on DVD in a Region 1 box set on May 2, 2017. In Region 4, Madman Entertainment has released the first season on DVD in Australia.

DVD name Ep # Release dates
Region 1 Region 4
The First Season, Volume 1 11 October 20, 2009 July 14, 2010
The First Season, Volume 2 12 February 9, 2010 September 27, 2010
The Second Season, Volume 1 11 December 7, 2010 TBA
The Second Season, Volume 2 11 March 29, 2011 TBA
The Third and Final Season, Volume 1 11 May 8, 2012 TBA
The Third and Final Season, Volume 2 12 August 14, 2012 TBA

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dan Tanna's '57 T-Bird, TV Acres.com Retrieved on 5 April 2014

External links[edit]