Vegas on TV

Here’s where to catch Vegas on your TV, Sept. 27 – Oct. 3

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

IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

  • Crashing Las Vegas (Sept. 28 @ 7:05 a.m. on TCM): Hit the waaay-waaay-waaaay-back machine to pre-Rat Pack Vegas in this 1956 comedy as The Bowery Boys, those adorable lunkheads from Gotham, drop into town for their 41st entry (wow, talk about franchise longevity). In this one, Sach (Huntz Hall), through the ridiculous plot twist of an electric shock, acquires the ability to “see” numbers before they come up on the roulette wheel— so of course, they head to Vegas to win some scratch for their cash-strapped landlady. Unscrupulous thugs (are there any other kind?) get involved and comic chaos ensues. This was the final Bowery Boys flick to feature Leo Gorcey as ringleader Slip Mahoney. Reportedly, Gorcey is visibly drunk in the film, which wound up being his last. He quit the role after he grew violent while filming this one, trashing props and the set — then demanding a raise. Not exactly a recommended negotiating tactic.
  • Get Him to the Greek (Sept. 29 @ 9 p.m. on MOMAX): Vegas is once again on the comedy default setting of Sin City salaciousness (lap dances, nutty sexual escapades) in this 2010 entry — a sequel of sorts to 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The plot (of sorts): A record exec (Jonah Hill) has to drag a rock star (Russell Brand) to L.A.’s famous Greek Theatre for a comeback tour kickoff concert. Of course, debauchery ensues en route. Vegas-wise, look for eyefuls of the Hard Rock Café, Liberace Museum, Planet Hollywood, the Plaza hotel-casino and McCarran International Airport.
  • Beavis and Butt-head Do America (Sept. 30 @9:30 a.m. on FLIXw): Yes, Vegas is honored (or maybe not) to be visited by the dumbbell duo in this 1996 adult animated comedy. Impressively, you can take in the entire Vegas vibe — albeit in animation and seen through creator Mike Judge’s twisted perception — in a two-minute whirlwind segment as the ditzy dudes arrive in town, set to the song “Love Rollercoaster” (seriously). Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyGC5teih1U. Judge voices the titular twits, but guest pipes include those of Demi Moore, Bruce Willis and David Letterman.
  • NHL Hockey: San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights, Live: (Oct. 2 @ 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN): You know our Knights are gonna make it a Knight to remember at T-Mobile Arena in a rematch of last year’s playoff rivals.

BIG-SCREEN VEGAS THIS WEEK:

  • Fools Rush In (Sept. 27 @ 7 a.m. on E!): Welcome to Rom-Com 101 in this 1997 entry starring Salma Hayek as a Vegas photographer who hooks up with a strait-laced businessman played by the King of Mugging Reactions, Matthew Perry. Enjoy the Southern Nevada Scene-o-Rama in this one, as the cinematic travelogue takes us through the Graceland Wedding Chapel, Lake Mead, McCarran International Airport, the Neon Museum, Valley of Fire State Park, Mountainview Hospital and Caesars Palace. Highlight: The scene at Hoover Dam, where Hayek’s character gives birth, lending new meaning — not to mention pretty vivid symbolism — to the idea of a dam bursting.
  • Casino (Sept. 27 @ 10:50 a.m. and 11:40 p.m. on STARZ): Robert De Niro’s genius bookie Ace Rothstein (based on Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal), Joe Pesci’s brutal mob enforcer Nicky Santoro (based on Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro) and Sharon Stone’s gorgeous, greedy hustler Ginger McKenna (based on dancer/socialite Geri McGee) form the compelling triumvirate in director Martin Scorsese’s intense 1995 classic about the building and destroying of a casino empire, the fictional Tangiers (based on the Stardust). (And don’t forget Oscar B. Goodman, portrayed by — and played by — Oscar B. Goodman!) The Tangiers was re-created at the Riviera and the Landmark properties. What else will you see? Oh, how about … the Peppermill, the Jockey Club, Las Vegas National Golf Club, the La Concha Motel, the Regency Motel, Piero’s restaurant, Bally’s hotel-casino, Tony Roma’s restaurant, the Glass Pool Inn, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, McCarran International Airport, Fremont Street and Valley of Fire State Park. And who else will you see? Oh, how about … Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Dick Smothers, Frankie Avalon, Alan King, James Woods, Jerry Vale and Don Rickles. It doesn’t get more Vegas-y than this one, folks. 
  • The Hangover (Sept. 27 @ 4:15 p.m. on AMC): Cinematically speaking, our city is still hung over from The Hangover, the raucous 2009 comedy about a missing groom and a bachelor party gone off the rails that is a veritable Vegas smorgasbord. Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifanakis and and Heather Graham (as a stripper/escort, of course) topline this Strip joyride that gives us such sights as a tiger in a bathroom, a chicken in a living room, a baby in a closet, a mattress impaled on a Caesars Palace statue and a naked man in the trunk of a Mercedes. … Oh, and Mike Tyson. More, you say? Read BEHIND THE CAMERA: Caesars Palace, Lindsay Lohan’s boo-boo and an embarrassed actor part of ‘The Hangover’ legacy
  • Vegas Vacation (Sept. 28 @ 4 p.m. and Sept. 29 @ 3 a.m. on BBC): 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]
  • Indecent Proposal (Sept. 28 @ 9:05 p.m. on EPIX Drive-In): With more-than-decent star power, 1993’s Indecent Proposal deposits married high school sweeties David (Woody Harrelson) and Diana (Demi Moore) in Vegas, where they promptly gamble away all of their savings. Enter billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford), who (quite understandably) gets the hots for Diana, and offers the couple a million bucks to spend the night with her. Marital angst ensues. No Real Housewives plot could top that. In fact, no Real Housewife could out-sexy Demi Moore. Note the Vegas backdrops including the sports book and Benihana Village at the former Las Vegas Hilton (now Westgate Las Vegas), the California Hotel & Casino and the volcano flames and rushing waterfall courtesy of the Mirage. Sharp-eyed viewers might also note the geographical oopsie when a helicopter takes off from (supposedly) the Hilton, with the sign for Downtown’s Lady Luck hotel-casino (now the Downtown Grand) clearly visible and nowhere near the Hilton. Not the first time filmmakers have rearranged the puzzle pieces of our geography, nor the last. 
  • Showgirls (Sept. 29 @ 1:50 a.m. and Oct. 3 @ 8:25 p.m. and 11: 25 p.m. on STARZ): 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.
  • Bachelor Party Vegas (Sept. 30 @ 12:45 a.m. on FLIXw)The title sums it up and it’s as silly as you would expect. Though the cast isn’t exactly star-studded — topped by Kal Penn, Jonathan Bennett, Donald Faison and Vincent Pastore — and the screenwriters toss a casino robbery into the ridiculous plot mix, this 2006 trifle does include cameos by our fabulous ex-mayor Oscar B. Goodman, and Kathy Griffin as a “She Elvis” (seriously) impersonator. 
  • The Hangover Part III (Sept. 30 @ 8 p.m. and Oct. 1 @ 5:30 p.m. on FX): All hail the return of the Wolfpack in this 2013 trilogy-ender in which the gang (Bradley Cooper, El Helms and Justin Bartha) try to get off-his-meds Zack Galifianakis back on track with a road trip to You-Know-Where. Bring on the mayhem, dudes — specifically, at Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s.
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Oct. 1 @ 6 p.m. on TMC): Need a break from reality? Perhaps some cinematic hallucinations and a thoroughly fractured (if entertaining) perception of Las Vegas is in order as Johnny Depp channels Hunter S. Thompson and Benicio Del Toro is along as his wingman in this drug-saturated adaptation of Thompson’s landmark (and whacked-out) 1971 novel. Ellen Barkin and Gary Busey are among the high-octane cameos. [RELATED: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Behind the Camera
  • Rush Hour 2(Oct. 1 @ 6:25 p.m. on HBO2): 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 (Oct. 1 @ 8 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?)
  • Think Like a Man Too (Oct. 2 @ 8:25 p.m. and 10:20 p.m. on FXM): Guess what? Another flick in which a Vegas wedding goes off the rails. Original, right? Kevin Hart toplines this one’s cast, which also includes Gabrielle Union, Wendy Williams and Kelsey Grammer, as relationship woes wreak havoc on bachelor and bachelorette blowouts, and a night in the pokey is in the cards. Everywhere you look in this 2014 comic romp — the Forum Shops at Caesars, the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, the Venus Pool Club, Nobu Restaurant, Planet Hollywood — it’s a visual Vegas smorgasbord.
  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Oct. 3 @ 6:15 a.m. on IFC): In this 2013 Strip-magicians-at-war comedy, marquee prestidigitators played by Steve Carrell and Steve Buscemi (and partially based on Siegfried & Roy) take on an aggressive, hipster challenger practicing a danger-brand of street magic, played by Jim Carrey (partly based on Criss Angel). MGM magic maven David Copperfield served as a film advisor and shared a few confidential secrets with the filmmakers —for which they had to sign secrecy contracts. Look for scenes shot at Bally’s Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Fremont Street, Binion’s Gambling Hall and exterior shots up and down both the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.
  • 2012 (Oct. 3 @ 12:30 p.m. on FX): What did we ever do to tick off Hollywood? They destroy us in 2009’s 2012, in which we get leveled by an earthquake. Hey Hollywood, go pick on someone else — Washington, D.C. perhaps. They haven’t had a good movie wipeout since Independence Day.

VEGAS HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE:

  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Sept. 27-Oct 3 @ 6 a.m. on USA)
  • Flipping Vegas (Sept. 28 @ 7-9 a.m. on A&E and Oct. 3 @ 1-5 p.m. on FYI)
  • Top This Party: Las Vegas (Sept. 28 @ 10 a.m. on LRW)
  • Property Brothers: Forever Home Las Vegas Classic (Sept. 28 @ 10 a.m. and Oct. 2 @ 5 p.m. on HGTV)
  • Underworld, Inc.: Las Vegas Hustle (Sept. 28 @ 9 p.m. on NatGeo)
  • Paranormal State: Vegas (Oct 1 @ 10 a.m. on FYI)
  • Property Brothers: Forever Home Suburban Vegas Upgrade (Oct. 2 @ 2 p.m. on HGTV)
  • Property Brothers: Forever Home Dream Home in the Vegas Suburbs (Oct. 2 @ 4 p.m. on HGTV)
  • The New Adventures of Old Christine: What Happens in Vegas is Disgusting in Vegas (Oct. 3 @ 4:50 a.m. on TVLAND)
  • Pawn Stars (Oct. 3 @ 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on HISTw)
  • Beverly Hills 90210: Lost in Las Vegas (Oct. 3 @ 2 p.m. on POP)

— Steve Bornfeld

 

 

 

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