Gambling on Television

Courtesy of our friends at comes this look at the quintissential casino-based television shows of our time. Any list of favorites is wholly subjective, of course, but we think that you'll be sure and find a new favorite or two below. From detectives to comedy to reality shows, the casinos of Las Vegas have been a rich setting for many years. For the thrill of Vegas-style gaming right at home check out




VEGA$ - Running on ABC from 1978 to 1981, this was the first original series ever produced in Las Vegas. Starring the great television legend Robert Urich and produced by Aaron Spelling, this series had a big cultural impact during its brief run. Urich's detective Dan Tanna was famous for cruising Las Vegas in his red Ford Thunderbird while bringing justice to casino floors everywhere. 


THE CASINO - Created by Survivor's Mark Burnett, this reality series only ran for one season on Fox in 2004. Despite being a ratings failure, this show - which took viewers inside the operations of the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas - had a very high pedigree. The stars were billionaire owners Tim Poster and Thomas Breitling. And the theme song was written by none other than U2




CELEBRITY POKER SHOWDOWN - Spanning eight tournaments over a five season run, this was a very successful television franchise for the Bravo cable network. Hosted by former Kids In The Hall star Dave Foley, this show featured famous celebrities playing in ongoing poker tournaments to raise money for their favorite charity. Among the notable players were Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, Sarah Silverman, Chevy Chase and Matthew Perry. 




LAS VEGAS - Airing on NBC for five seasons, this mix of comedy and caper was always a light and brisk hour of television. Starring James Caan as the man behind the fictional Montecito Resort & Casino, this show also launched the career of Josh Duhamel. The producers of the show built a full working casino set to substitute for the Montecito, complete with a working kitchen and official gaming floor. 





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