Vegas on TV

October 1-7

Lucky You (Oct. 1, 6:30 a.m.; Oct. 4, 2 p.m., HBO): Aspiring lounge warbler (Drew Barrymore) meets poker stud (Eric Bana) with a problematic relationship with his World Series of Poker-winning papa (Robert Duvall) in this 2007 drama, in which Robert Downey Jr., Debra Messing and a slew of poker pros also pop up. Where was it filmed here? Where wasn’t it? A sampling: Dino’s Lounge, the Bellagio fountains, Binion’s Horseshoe, the Jockey Club, Summerlin’s Bear’s Best Golf Club, Tiffany’s Cafe inside the White Cross Drugs store and the then-under-construction Cosmopolitan. Oh — and the Silverton Casino 117,000-gallon aquatic tank. That’s where Messing spent 16 hours filming a scene dressed as a mermaid — for a scene that was cut. No wonder she went back to Will & Grace.

Think Like a Man Too (Oct. 1, 7 a.m.; Oct. 2, 1 a.m., FX): Guess what? Another flick in which a Vegas wedding goes off the rails. Original, right? Kevin Hart headlines this 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 buffet.

Vegas Rat Rods (Oct. 1, 7 a.m.-4 p.m., 10 p.m.; Oct. 2, 3 a.m., 2 p.m.-midnight; Oct. 3, 1 a.m.; Oct. 7, 4 a.m.-6 a.m., DSC): Think of this as a “Rat” infestation — those “rats” being Steve Darnell and his “band of oddballs and misfits” who are also more charitably described as “the Picassos of automotive fabricators.” What happens during this seemingly endless marathon? Well … Oh, heck — just pick an episode. Any episode.

Dog the Bounty — Vegas or Bust (Oct. 1, 8 a.m., A&E): Our main man handles a pair of cases, then is the keynote speaker at the Professional Bail Agents Convention in town. You go, dawg.

Rush Hour 2 (Oct. 1, 8:15 a.m.; Oct. 5, 9 p.m., MOMAX): Sept. 25, 8 p.m., MAX): 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.

The Hangover (Oct. 1, 10:35 a.m., MAX): 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 Heather Graham (as a stripper/escort, of course) topline this Vegas 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.

Rain Man (Oct. 2, 2 p.m., SHO2): With the possible exception of employees of a certain department store chain that was famously dissed (“Kmart sucks!”), 1988’s Rain Man remains a universally popular comedy-drama road flick. Exceptional performances by Tom Cruise as a callow wheeler-dealer, and Dustin Hoffman as his autistic savant brother light up this gem. As the pair hit Vegas and win big at the blackjack table, look for scenes filmed at Caesars Palace, including the Emperor’s Suite in the Forum Tower, which is still known as “Rain Main Suite.” Other Caesars scenes include those filmed at men’s shopping store Cuzzens, and Cleopatra’s Salon. And for the record: We’re very fond of Kmart.

Motorsports Hour (Oct. 3, 9 a.m., NBCSN): Take a vicarious ride along for the “Best in the Desert” series, Las Vegas to Reno race. Vroom … Vroom … Vroom …

American Ninja Warrior: Las Vegas Finals (Oct. 3, 4, 5, 6 at 11 p.m., NBCSN):  Ridiculously toned athletes face off right here for our entertainment and amusement at the four-course Mt. Midoriyama near the Luxor.

The Cooler (Oct. 4, 10 a.m., HBOSG): Though set at a fictional casino just off Fremont Street (the Shangri La), this touching 2003 tale about a sad-sack loser (William H. Macy) whose mere presence brings bad luck to gamblers, and his romance with a waitress (Maria Bello) was primarily filmed in Reno. (The producer reportedly got a great deal to film and house the cast and crew at Reno’s Golden Phoenix Hotel.) Yet atmospherically, this one is Vegas-centric all the way, plus there are scattered aerial shots of Las Vegas. Oh, and for implosion fans, the demolitions of the Aladdin, Sands, Landmark and Dunes unspool over the closing credits.

Flipping Vegas (Oct. 4, 1 and 2 p.m., FYI; Oct. 6, 7 and 8 a.m., A&E): Sept. 20, 1-3 p.m. and Sept. 22, 7-9 a.m. FYI; Sept. 22, 7-9 a.m., A&E):  In the FYI episodes, catch Scott Yancey and his Flipped-out crew take on a flooded property in a gated community, and a “trashed party house.” (Where’s a homeowners association when you really need one?) Then on the A&E entries, the team focuses on a private detective’s former home, and a house filled with “apocalypse-preparation gear.” (Isn’t that the Boys Scout motto — “Be Prepared for the Apocalypse”?)

Flip or Flop Vegas (Oct. 4, 1-4 p.m., HGTV): Throughout this afternoon marathon of half-hour episodes, hosts Aubrey and Bristol have more than enough to do: They find a two-bedroom property due for a modern update; flip a “cookie-cutter home” with “good bones” (mix metaphors much?); take on a “fixer-upper”; try to rescue a townhome from an abandoned renovation; work on a Boulder City house with “historic charm”; and reimagine a home with “ ’90s features.” (We’re imagining house parties crammed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures while the stereo blasts “The Macarena.”)

NHL Highlights: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena (Oct. 4, 7 p.m., NBCSN):  OUR ICE WARRIORS RETURN!!!

The Grand Hustle — What Happens in Vegas (Oct. 4, 10 p.m., 11 p.m.; Oct. 5, 9 p.m., BET): Contestants “hustle” through the streets of Atlanta to win a high-paying job. What happens to them when they get to Vegas, where there are also lucrative gigs? Well, as we know, what happens here stays here. Maybe they do, too.

Leaving Las Vegas (Oct. 5, 12:10 a.m., TMC): Downbeat but poignant — and featuring an Oscar-winning performance from Nicolas Cage — this 1995 drama finds Ben Sanderson (Cage), an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter, arriving in town for an intentionally fatal bender. Along his drunken path, he connects with Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a sympathetic prostitute, forming a sad but unique bond. Famously intense in his acting approach, Cage reportedly prepared for his role by filming himself drunk to study his inebriated speech patterns. Whether that constitutes method acting or a weird way to pick up bar hookups is up for debate.

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (Oct. 5, 5 p.m.; Oct. 6, 1:30 a.m., BRAVO): 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.

UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor From Las Vegas (Weigh-In, Oct. 5, 9 p.m., Oct. 6, 1:30 a.m.; Pre-fight, Oct. 6, 7 a.m.; Prelims, Oct. 6, 5 p.m.; Post-fight, Oct. 6, 10:30 p.m., Oct. 7, midnight, FS1):  In a nutshell: At T-Mobile Arena, UFC lightweight warriors Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov weigh in to go at each other; get previewed by talking heads before they go at each other; wait out the undercard bouts before they go at each other; then are analyzed by talking heads after they go at each other.

Trading Spaces — Vegas: Smokemont Court (Oct. 6, 6 a.m., TLC): A Vegas living room is remodeled. A Vegas office/game room is redesigned. What’s remodeled and redesigned in Vegas is broadcast to America. Technically, perhaps not everything that happens here, stays here. (But the fun stuff does!)

Futurama: Viva Mars Vegas (Oct. 7, 12:10 a.m., SYFY): Animated satire sets its futuristic sights on Las Vegas — on Mars, of course. Among the visual Vegas riffs: a shrimp buffet, a white tiger, a jacuzzi, acrobats and a suit made entirely out of cash. In this episode, the crew attempts a casino heist to recover stolen goods. Isn’t it nice to know that even in the 31st century, the central plot point from Ocean’s 11 still survives?

Fright Night (Oct. 7, 11:25 a.m., SYFY): This 2011 remake of the 1985 comedy-horror flick does use Vegas for its plot: A teen (Anton Yelchin) from a Vegas suburb realizes his neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a vampire and enlists a local magician (David Tennant) to rid the world of the bloodsucker before he sucks Vegas dry. And it was all filmed in … New Mexico.  Yes, there’s the Hard Rock Hotel-Casino — wrongly placed on the Strip in the flick, and actually lensed at a New Mexico Hard Rock. However, if you’re not from Vegas or are not a regular visitor, you won’t know the difference. Hey, it’s Vegas, baby — even if it’s not!

Aerial Cities — Las Vegas 24 (Oct. 7, 10 p.m., SMITHSONIAN): Pop a Dramamine tab and hop aboard an aerial tour of our town, including our famed casinos, zip lines, Red Rock and 200,000 acres of protected wilderness. Vegas, take a well-deserved bow.

— Steve Bornfeld

Dates, times and channels provided by All times are Pacific, check your local listings for your time zone and channel guide.




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