Vegas on TV

October 29 – November 4

Wahlburgers — Viva Paul Vegas (Oct. 29, 6 a.m., FYI): Donnie and Paul gamble. Not Mark, though. We’re guessing he doesn’t need the cash.  

 Lucky You (Oct. 29, 6 a.m., Oct. 31, 4:50 p.m., HBOSG; Nov. 2, 6:20 a.m., HBO2): 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 and the then-under-construction Cosmopolitan. Oh — and the Silverton Casino Lodge’s 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.

The Hangover (Oct. 29, 6:20 p.m., MAX; Nov. 2, 2 p.m., MOMAX): 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. 30, 3:15 p.m., Oct. 31, 2:45 a.m., SHO; Nov. 3, 10 a.m., TMC): 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.

Vegas Rat Rods (Oct. 30, 4-10 p.m., Oct. 31, midnight-2 a.m., Nov. 3, 4 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 these Rat marathons? Well … Oh, heck — just pick an episode. Any episode. However, there’s one newbie — the Oct. 30, 9 p.m. installment, titled “The Curse of the Haunted Rod.” Frankly, the only car ghost that would scare us would be the spirit of the DMV tester who flunked us.

NHL Hockey: Vegas Golden Knights at Nashville Predators, Live: (Oct. 30, 5 p.m., NBCSN): Predators? Puh-leeze. Our Knights will eat ’em alive.

Wheel of Fortune — From the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas (Oct. 31, 9:30 a.m., Nov. 1-2, 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., GSN): Well, if you’re going to spin a wheel and make a fortune, this is the city to be in.

The Cooler (Nov. 1, 3:05 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.

Hot Shots! (Nov. 1, 6 a.m., 10 a.m., IFC): As a fond remembrance, keep an eye out for fleeting glimpses of the late, much-loved Dunes Hotel (may it rest in peace) in this 1991 Top Gun spoof. A pre-“tiger blood”-ed Charlie Sheen stars, along with Carl Elwes, Valeria Golino, Lloyd Bridges and Sheen’s future Two and a Half Men cohort, Jon Cryer.

Roseanne (Nov. 1, 9-10 a.m., CMT): No, this isn’t the now-infamous rebooted Roseanne of last season, whose star self-destructed in a Twitter implosion. Nor is it the Roseanne-less reincarnation, The Conners. This is the original, classic series. In these three episodes — titled Vegas Interruptus, Vegas and Vegas, Vegas, respectively — the brassy matriarch and hubby Dan (John Goodman) take a Vegas getaway to see Wayne Newton; and then, in a two-parter, join Nancy and Arnie (Sandra Bernhard and Tom Arnold) when they get hitched. Of course, The Wayner makes an appearance, and, as a poignant reminder of his talent and Vegas stardom, keep an eye out for a cameo by the late Danny Gans — who impersonates The Wayner!   

Friends: The One in Vegas (Nov. 1, 12:30-1:30 p.m., TBS): In this two-parter, the gang goes to Vegas to visit Joey, while Chandler and Monica celebrate their first anniversary as a couple and literally roll the dice on whether to get married. Quippy one-liners spew out like the Bellagio fountains. Now everybody sing: “So no one told you life was gonna be this way …”

Flip or Flop Vegas (Nov. 1, 1-4 p.m., HGTV): Throughout this afternoon marathon of half-hour episodes, hosts Aubrey and Bristol have more than enough to do: filling in the sunken living room of a Spring Valley home; giving another house a black-and-white makeover; renovating a downtown condo; updating a home in a golf community that hasn’t been decoratively refreshed since the 1980s; and dealing with a Henderson home with a rather odious odor. Well, four bucks for a spritzer of Febreze should handle that, right?

Flipping Vegas (Nov. 1, 1-3 p.m., FYI; Nov. 3, 7-9 a.m., A&E): In the FYI episodes, catch Scott Yancey and his Flipped-out crew get a little flipped out themselves over unfinished renovations, and then tackle a hoarder’s home. And on the A&E installments, Scott buys a 1970s house, and another with a troublesome hot tub. … Champagne problems, right?

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (Nov. 3, 1 p.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.

My Lottery Dream Home — Vegas Dream Home (Nov. 3, 4:30 p.m., HGTV): A retired boxer searches for his dream abode here in town, which he will pay for by forking over his $1 million scratch-off winnings. And that’s a lot of, well, scratch.

Drugs Inc. — High Stakes Vegas (Nov. 4, 1 a.m., NGC):  Exploring illegal drugs in town. But they’re wasting their time. As Kevin Kline’s Vegas-visiting character says in the movie Last Vegas when asked if he’s got any substances on him: “Does Lipitor count?”

Damnation Alley (Nov. 4, 1 a.m., FXM)Fun, fun, fun (well, not really) with Vegas casinos partially buried in sand in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust in this 1997 doomsday thriller. Jan-Michael Vincent, George Peppard, Paul Winfield and Jackie Earle Haley star — alongside killer cockroaches. And no, that isn’t the name of a band playing in one of the lounges.

Ocean’s Eleven (Nov. 4, 3 p.m., WGN AMERICA): George Clooney and Brad Pitt (and cronies) inherit the casino-heist business from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin (and cronies) in what could easily be subtitled “Rat Pack: The Next Generation.” Catch scenes for this 2001 caper reprise filmed at the Bellagio, the Palazzo and McCarran International Airport.

NHRA in 30 — Las Vegas (Nov. 4, 3:30 p.m., FS1): Those speed demons need a lot of room to vroom, and that’s why they’re at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in this condensed replay.

 Con Air (Nov. 4, 9:30 p.m., A&E): You’ll wait for the grand finale set piece, but this 1997 actioner is worth it when homebound con Nicolas Cage and his not-so-merry band of airborne miscreants (including John Malkovich, Dave Chappelle and a comically creepy Steve Buscemi) crash their plane on the Vegas Strip, shearing off the famed guitar atop the Hard Rock sign. As con/pilot Swamp Thing (M.C. Gainey) declares during their uncontrolled vertical dive: “Buckle up, ladies, we’re going for a night out in Vegas!”

— Steve Bornfeld

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











Previous post

‘Mondays Dark’ hitting milestone

Next post

From this selfie forward

Las Vegas Newswire

Las Vegas Newswire