Fall 2012 Pilot Reviews: Vegas

Premise: Set in the 1960s, Vegas tells the story of rancher-turned-Sherriff Ralph Lamb and his conflicts with the mob running Las Vegas at the time.

Initial Thoughts: I really wanted to like this show, since I love Las Vegas, but not even the setting could make me interested in the mob. The show is somewhat of a departure from CBS’s norm though, so I was moderately interested in seeing how well they could pull it off.

Series Premiere: 9/25/12

Timeslot Competition: Private Practice (ABC), Parenthood (NBC)

Post-show Thoughts: I’m not sure it’s going to be as much of a departure from CBS’s norm as I thought. It looks like it will still be largely based on a crime-of-the-week, even though the focus will be on the law enforcement and mob interaction instead of the crime-solving process. In that aspect, I expect this show to be more like The Good Wife, where the actual cases are less important than the character interactions and plot that exists outside of the weekly case but the case is still there to provide structure.

I had brief moments of interest during the scenes with the elected officials talking about expanding Las Vegas and moving it toward what it is today, but other than that, this show didn’t hold my attention at all. It wasn’t a bad show, necessarily, but it didn’t make me interested in a topic that I wasn’t interested in from the beginning. For people who are interested in the mob or the early days of Las Vegas, this could be a great show but it lacks broad appeal.

Predictions: Just for comparison, Vegas beat the season 13 premiere of CSI in total viewers, but tied them in the 18-49 demographic. This is not a great start for a show. If viewership holds up, it may be doing well enough to warrant a full season order. To continue my comparision with The Good Wife, it may be that this show brings in enough critical acclaim and attention to slightly offset its lower ratings in an attempt to help CBS rebrand its dramas. Realistically, I would guess that that scenario is the best this show could hope for. I don’t anticipate it being nearly the hit that Person of Interest was for CBS last fall.

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