Vegas on TV

Here’s where to catch Vegas on your TV, Aug. 30 to Sept. 5

All listings are subject to change, and are Pacific time. Also check for listed programs on streaming and on-demand services:

IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

  • Showgirls (Aug. 30 @ midnight on FLIXw): Was it the most notorious stinker about Las Vegas ever made … or the most devilishly clever cult film about Las Vegas ever made? Or both. Read all about it here: Diary of a mad movie.
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (Aug. 30 @ 10 p.m. on LMN): Calling this 2005 Sandra Bullock vehicle “silly” is over-praising it (Rotten Tomatoes bestows an abysmal 15 percent approval rating on it). But Vegas clichés at least get a good workout in this slight sequel, especially when William Shatner (at his winking, self-mocking best) is kidnapped and stashed at the ship at Treasure Island, and Bullock, Regina King and Diedrich Bader wind up at a drag club hollering out Tina Turner tunes. We question whether that would make Proud Mary proud.
  • National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation (Aug. 31 @ 7 p.m. on AMC): The hapless Griswold family headed by Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo — and featuring those kids who are recast in every movie to play, well, their kids — come to town in this 1997 Vacation series sequel. (Or, being the fourth one, perhaps it’s a “four-quel.”) Scenes were shot at The Mirage (including the Siegfried & Roy show), MGM Grand, the Riviera, the Klondike, the Sands, the Neon Museum, the Fremont Street Experience, the Hoover Dam and Club Paradise. Cameos include: Christie Brinkley, Sid Caesar and Vegas resident/1992 Playboy Playmate of the Year Corinna Harney-Jones, who must endure Chase’s come-on at the blackjack table. Oh — and Wayne Newton and his Casa de Shenandoah estate. Stray tidbit: A highway sign in the flick says Chicago is 1,880 miles from Vegas. Actually, it’s about 1,700. But what’s 180 miles between friends? [RELATED: Vegas Vacation Behind the Camera]
  • Swingers (Sept. 1 @ 4:35 p.m. and Sept. 2 @ 4:35 a.m. on TMC): Not only did this 1996 comedy-drama about single, unemployed L.A. actors catapult Vince Vaughn to stardom, it also catapulted the cast — also including Heather Graham, Ron Livingston and its writer, Jon Favreau — to Vegas for scenes shot at the Stardust on the Strip, and downtown at the Fremont Hotel. Notable cameo: Favreau’s grandma, portraying a lucky gambler at a five-buck blackjack table.
  • Breakdown (Sept. 1 @ 11:27 p.m. on Starz Encore): In this seriously intense 1997 thriller, Kurt Russell searches for his wife who was abducted in our spooky Western desert environs by even spookier trucker baddie J.T. Walsh and his villainous cronies. Look for scenes filmed across the Nevada desert landscape, including at Nelson’s Landing. And cheer on Russell in a strong performance as a man whose desperation memorably ratchets up with every scene. 
  • Rush Hour 2 (Sept. 2 @ noon on HBO): Cop cutups Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker somehow wind up in our town (don’t ask how) at the “Red Dragon” hotel-casino to solve a counterfeit money laundering scam in this 2001 martial arts laugher-sequel. Guess who played the Red Dragon? The now-defunct Desert Inn, which had already closed before filming began, but was all dressed up in a Chinese-palace theme.
  • Independence Day (Sept. 4 @ 8 p.m. and Sept. 5 @ 4:55 p.m. on AMC): “Kick the tires and light the fires, Big Daddy!” — so sayeth Harry Connick Jr.’s hotshot pilot, who winds up as sky-high roadkill in this campy 1996 defend-the-planet blockbuster, which features scenes set in our own Area 51. Here’s some trivial trivia on that: In the briefing room scene, a night vision pan shot of the base is an actual photo taken by a conspiracy theorist at “Freedom Ridge,” an area no longer accessible to the public. Why? … The truth is out there. (Oh wait, that’s from some paranoid alien-conspiracy show, isn’t it?)

 

 More Vegas on TV this week:

  • Flipping Vegas(Aug. 30 @ midnight and Sept. 5 @ 8, 9 and 10 a.m. on FYI; and Aug. 31 @ 7 and 8 a.m. on A&E)  
  • Futurama: Viva Mars Vegas (Aug. 30 @ 10:05 a.m. on Comedy)
    • American Ninja Warrior: Las Vegas National Finals (Aug. 30 and Sept. 2 @ 8 p.m. on NBC)
    • Friends: The One in Vegas (Part 1, Aug. 30 @ 11:35 p.m.; Part 2, Aug. 31 @ 12:10 a.m. on Nick)
    • Breakout: Escape to Vegas (Aug. 31 @ midnight on NGC)
    • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Aug. 31 and Sept. 3, 4 and 6 @ 6 a.m. and Sept. 5 @ 6:30 a.m. on USA; Sept. 5 @ 7 a.m.-noon on SYFY
    • Top This Party: Las Vegas (Aug. 31 @ 10:30 a.m. on LRW)
    • Hard Time: Las Vegas Lock-Up (Aug. 31 @ noon on NGC)
    • Bar Rescue: Down and Out in Las Vegas (Sept. 3 @ 11 a.m. on Paramount)
    • Vegas Mafia (Sept. 3 @ 1 p.m. on NGC)
    • Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Vegas, Baby! (Sept. 4 @ 2 p.m. on E!)
    • Pawn Stars (Sept. 5 @ 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on HISTW)

— Steve Bornfeld

 

 

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