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NBC Buys Teen Chef Comedy

NBC Buys Teen Chef Comedy


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And real life 14-year-old chef Flynn McGarry is a producer, obviously

A new comedy is based off this precocious teen chef.

Enterprising young kid chefs are never going away; they're releasing cookbooks, competing on Junior MasterChef, working with Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, and producing television shows based on their own life.

Deadline reports that NBC has bought the rights to a "workplace comedy" about a young teenager chef, focusing on a "driven but naive 16-year-old prodigy chef who gets a job working in the kitchen for his idol, a temperamental and unpredictable celebrity chef."

The inspiration? Real life 14-year-old chef Flynn McGarry, the Los Angeles young'un who launched a monthly supper club (Eureka) out of his home when he was 10. You know, the kid who has apprenticed at Ray's and Stark Bar at LACMA, Grant Achatz's Alinea in Chicago, and Eleven Madison Park.

McGarry is, naturally, a producer on the show, in between Eureka dinners at BierBeisl in Beverly Hills and getting featured in the New Yorker. What are you doing with your life again?


FROM NBC, TWO NEW SATURDAY NIGHTS SITCOMS

Determined to make Saturday night comedy night, NBC is supplementing two of its established series - ''Gimme a Break'' at 8 oɼlock and ''The Facts of Life'' at 8:30 - with two new situation comedies: ''The Golden Girls'' at 9 and '𧈧'' at 9:30. The network no doubt remembers the period in the early 1970's when CBS held a hammerlock on first place in the ratings with its Saturday comedy lineup, which at one point consisted of 'ɺll in the Family,'' ''M*A*S*H,'' ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'' ''The Bob Newhart Show'' and ''The Carol Burnett Comedy Hour.'' There was no better ticket for laughs anywhere.

NBC still has a way to go in reaching that overall quality, but the effort is worth watching and the two new entries seem to be headed in the right direction. ''The Golden Girls'' has been getting the most enthusiastic advance word-of-mouth since ''The Cosby Show.'' Its credentials are certainly promising. The show, produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris in association with Walt Disney TV, was created by Susan Harris, whose distinctive humor has previously been sampled in the wackiness of ''Soap'' and the bile of ''Hail to the Chief.'' This time, Miss Harris is looking at the phenomenon of aging as processed through retirement in Florida, land of sun and hurricane warnings.

The casting is a joy. Bea Arthur, long the formidable television mouth known as ''Maude,'' and Betty White, one of the dizzier fixtures on ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'' are renting rooms in a Miami house owned by Rue McClanahan, who once was Maude's next-door neighbor and more recently flitted by as dipsy Aunt Fran on ''Mama's Family.'' These three very familiar television faces are joined by Estelle Getty, who plays Miss Arthur's zinger-slinging mother. A graduate of New York's Herbert Berghoff Studios, Miss Getty's career was given a formidable boost with her performance in Broadway's ''Torch Song Trilogy.''

In addition, this evening's premiere episode, written by Miss Harris, is directed by Jay Sandrich, the veteran magician who has turned so many sitcoms into light-comedy gems, the latest of his successes being ''The Cosby Show.'' The plot, in typical sitcom fashion, is minuscule. Miss McClanahan has fallen in love, raising the possibility that her boarders will have to move out in the event of a marriage. There is obviously no need to worry, as the producers are highly unlikely to break up this winning combination of actors in the very first episode.

I didn't clock the show, but there must be a laugh whizzing by every 20 seconds, provided by everything from the prevalence of Spanish in the Miami area (''Iɽ have less trouble getting around Ecuador'') to Miss Arthur's slow takes of disbelief at some of Miss White's denser observations. Everyone is clearly having a good time, and the fun is catching. One should be grateful for that much, perhaps, but the sheer professionalism cannot entirely hide some potential weaknesses. A little too much of the humor is directed at ridiculing certain signs of aging, from having hair in one's ears to incontinence. Bathroom jokes have their limitations. And Miss Getty's character threatens to demolish the ensemble work with the need to get a laugh every time she opens her outrageous mouth. It will be easier to judge the merits of ''The Golden Girls'' after the first six or eight episodes are sampled. If the momentum holds, NBC could have itself another blockbuster hit.

The success of ''The Cosby Show'' has given the signal, once again, to commercial broadcasters that shows featuring black actors can appeal to general audiences. One of the beneficiaries of this obvious perception is '𧈧,'' starring Marla Gibbs, long the sassy maid on the now departed ''The Jeffersons.'' The new series is based on a play by Christine Houston, a play in which Miss Gibbs starred at the Crossroads Arts Academy Theater in Los Angeles two years ago. She portrays Mary Jenkins, a Washington housewife, near the Washington Monument in a brownstone numbered 227. No-nonsense, tart-tongued Mary and her even-tempered friend Rose (Alaina Reed) spend most of their time gossiping on the stoop, watching the comings and goings and developing whatever slight story line is being used as an excuse for each episode.

Mary is a strict mother, keeping a tight rein on her teen-age daughter Brenda (Regina King) and her construction-worker husband Lester (Hal Williams), especially when the tenement's resident sex-kitten (Jackee Harry) happens to be nearby. The buxom Miss Harry reads the simplest of lines as if she where competing in a Mae West contest. Tonight's instalment finds Mary breaking the taillight on a BMW as she tries to park in a tight spot. The question: Should she leave a note with her name and address for the owner. The answer is equally innocuous, but the slight vehicle, written by Bobby Crawford and directed by Ellen Chaset Falcon, serves the purpose of getting the characters introduced. They are a reasonably likeable lot, now wholly at the mercy of future scripts.


Contents

The series also featured new characters (the Frankenstones, the Cavemouse) as well as older characters (Penny, Wiggy, Moonrock and Schleprock of 1971's The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show and 1972's The Flintstone Comedy Hour on CBS, Al Capp's the Shmoo from his show The New Shmoo which aired on NBC in 1979, and Captain Caveman from his own series on ABC in 1977 which lasted three seasons).

A series of gags, educational spots, games, how-to-draw and a dance-of-the-week were featured in-between the six segments every week. In 1982, reruns of the show were repackaged for two seasons under the title The Flintstone Funnies. Reruns of "Dino and the Cavemouse" aired on the Disney Channel adaption of Wake, Rattle, and Roll.

This segment featured the traditional antics and adventures of The Flintstones and The Rubbles.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

Fred and Barney are part-time police officers assisted by the Shmoo as a trainee where they work under the direction of Sgt. Boulder. The trio fought crime in the city of Bedrock, most of the time chasing after the Frankenstones' pet monster Rockjaw.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

This was a Flintstones-themed adaptation of the "mystery-solving teens and a pet" format popularized by Scooby-Doo and its various spin-offs in the 1970s (including Captain Caveman's original show on ABC). In this series, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm (similar, yet aged down a little, from their appearance in The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show) with pet dinosaur Dino solve mysteries in the city of Bedrock. They would sometimes be accompanied by pals Penny, Wiggy and Moonrock.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

This segment served as a prequel to the earlier series Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, focusing on Captain Caveman's time in Bedrock before he was frozen in ice. Captain Caveman (under his "secret identity" of Chester the office boy), Betty and Wilma work for Lou Granite (based on Lou Grant) at The Daily Granite. [4] To disguise himself as Chester, Captain Caveman wore a pair of glasses and a tie (similar to the Clark Kent persona used by Superman). Despite the simplicity of his disguise, he required a coat rack and an elaborate transformation sequence to become Captain Caveman.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

The segment featured Dino pitted against a pesky little Cavemouse in chase sequences similar to the Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts. These sequences were supervised by notable animation director Tex Avery. Two segments aired per episode.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

This segment featured the Flintstones' neighbors The Frankenstones: Frank, his wife Hidea, their kooky daughter Atrocia, and their teenage son Freaky, who is friends with fellow teenager Pebbles Flintstone.


Back to Back Chef

Season 1

Chef Bobby Flay teaches amateur cook Shane how to make chile relleno (aka stuffed poblano peppers) using audio instructions only - no visuals whatsoever. Facing away from each other, back-to-back, these two men quickly progress through the chile relleno recipe. As Flay barks out directions, Shane scrambles to follow. Can Shane beat Bobby Flay at his own game? Probably not. But, it's fun to watch him try to keep up in this fast-paced cooking challenge.

French chef Daniel Boulud challenges amateur cook Jessica to keep up with him as they try to make Tunisian brik pastry in 15 minutes with their backs to each other. Without the benefit of visual aids, Jessica must keep up with chef Boulud's hurried audio instructions (and accent). An updated version of Daniel Boulud’s book "Letters to a Young Chef" came out on October 3. In it, he shares the story of his career and the lessons he has learned along the way.

In just 15 minutes and with his back turned, Gordon Ramsay challenges an amateur to keep up with him as he makes crab cakes. He's also teaching a four hour Masterclass demonstrating his techniques to help you take your cooking to the next level.

Marlon Wayans challenges our own Carla Lalli Music to keep up with him as they try to make an eggs benedict with their backs to each other. Without the benefit of visual aids, Marlon must keep up with Carla's instructions. Marlon Wayans' comedy special "Woke-ish" is out on Netflix.

Miz Cracker from Ru Paul's Drag Race tries to make fresh ravioli with Carla as her guide using verbal instructions only.

Natalie Portman visits the Bon Appétit test kitchen to make a vegan carpaccio with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? Find out! Natalie Portman produced and narrates the IFC documentary EATING ANIMALS out now and playing in major cities. Website: http://eatinganimalsmovie.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EatingAnimalsMov/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/EatingAnimalsUS

Alessia Cara visits the Bon Appétit test kitchen to make lobster pasta with Calabrian chilis with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? After the huge success of “Growing Pains,” Grammy winner Alessia Cara drops her sophomore album The Pains of Growing this fall.

Ellie Kemper visits the Bon Appétit test kitchen to make crepes with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? Ellie Kemper's latest collection of hilarious essays, My Squirrel Days, is out now.

Troye Sivan visits the Bon Appétit test kitchen to make a chicken under a brick with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? Find out! Try the recipe for yourself here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-under-a-brick-in-a-hurry Troye Sivan's latest album, Bloom, is out now. Troye also stars in 'Boy Erased', now in theaters.

Drag queen Shangela visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make churros with bittersweet chocolate sauce with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/churros-with-bittersweet-chocolate-sauce In addition to A Star is Born, her new netflix series SUPER DRAGS is launching globally Nov 9. And she is on tour in over 180 cities throughout the rest of the year. Dates here: https://shangela.com/pages/tour

Elizabeth Olsen visits the Bon Appétit test kitchen to make vegetable tempura with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? Elizabeth Olsen stars in Facebook Watch series SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS: www.facebook.com/sorryforyourloss

Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make a croque madame with Carla. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/croque-madame-with-cranberry-mustard-relish

K-pop star Tiffany Young visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make a French omelette with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/how-to/article/perfect-french-omelet-hint-will-butter

Nina Dobrev visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make crispy-skinned red snapper with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only?

Al Roker visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make Steak au Poivre with Carla. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/steak-au-poivre (Note: when you flambé the cognac for this steak au poivre recipe, make sure your pan is really hot and your eyebrows are out of the way.)

Riverdale star Charles Melton visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make Baked Alaska with Carla. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/ina-gartens-raspberry-baked-alaska The Sun is Also a Star is in theaters May 17th.

'Modern Family' and 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' star Eric Stonestreet visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make Sole Meunière with Carla. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/classic-sole-meuni-re

The Try Guys visit the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make surf-and-turf Carpaccio with Carla Music. Can Keith, Zach, Eugene and Ned follow along using verbal instructions only? The Try Guys book is now available wherever books are sold! https://tryguys.com/pages/try-guys-book

Notorious seafood-hater David Dobrik visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make shrimp-filled Vietnamese-style summer rolls with Carla Music. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/vietnamese-summer-rollscxs

WWE Superstar Braun Strowman visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make lobster rolls with Carla Music. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the lobster roll recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/bas-ultimate-lobster-rolls Monday Night Raw airs on Monday’s at 8/7c on USA Network. Friday Night SmackDown airs on Friday’s at 8pm ET on FOX.

Hailee Steinfeld visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make pomme soufflé with Carla Music. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? Dickinson is streaming exclusively on AppleTV+

Presented by Grey Goose | Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make vegan chocolate-banana pancakes and bloody marys with Carla Music. Can the NBA star follow along using verbal instructions only? Sip Grey Goose Vodka responsibly. Check out the pancake recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/how-to/article/banana-pancakes And the Bloody Mary recipe: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/new-look-bloody-mary

Ninja visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make an egg-in-a-hole bacon and cheese sandwich with Carla Music. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/egg-in-a-hole-sandwich-with-bacon-and-cheddar Tune in to watch Ninja stream at http://mixer.com/ninja

Markiplier visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make Eggs In Purgatory with Carla Music. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? A HEIST WITH MARKIPLIER is available to stream for free right now only on YouTube. Visit YouTube.com/Markiplier to watch the special and join the museum heist!

'Frankie & Johnny' star Michael Shannon visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make Nashville-style hot chicken and slaw. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out how to make this yourself here! https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/nashville-style-hot-chicken Michael Shannon is starring in the play 'Frankie & Johnny' on Broadway now!

Rich Brian visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make chicken parmesan with Carla Music. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pietros-chicken-parmesan Rich Brian will be performing at Head in The Clouds Music & Arts Festival Indonesia on March 7, 2020 at JIEXPO Kemayoran, Jakarta. Additionally, he will be performing at Coachella 2020.

Drag queen Trixie Mattel visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make strawberry shortcake with Carla. Can she follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out the strawberry shortcake recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/basically-strawberry-shortcakes Trixie Matetel's new album 'Barbara' is out now on all streaming platforms. Listen here: https://lnk.to/tm-barbara

Binging with Babish visits the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen to make a Jean Georges-style ostrich egg with Molly Baz. Can he follow along using verbal instructions only? Check out Andrew's YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/bgfilms Filmed on 2/28/2020.

In our inaugural episode of Side-by-Side Chef, Troye Sivan calls Carla Lalli Music from Australia to make a spot of breakfast. Of course, with the time difference this means that Carla is making breakfast at 9PM EST, but everybody loves breakfast for dinner. Can Troye follow Carla's instructions without looking and make Japanese soufflé pancakes?

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Shakina Nayfack Makes History in NBC’s ‘Connecting…’

Shakina Nayfack is the first transgender person to have a starring role in a network comedy!

NBC’s new series Connecting… follows a group of friends as they navigate life during the coronavirus lockdown. The show’s pilot episode begins the story in March of 2020, right as the country shut down. The sitcom, filmed like a Zoom call between friends, tackles 2020 America in a humorous, hilarious, and heartwarming way.

The show has also broken new ground for equality, casting actress Shakina Nayfack as one of the main characters, making Nayfack the first transgender person to have a starring role in a network comedy. I was able to catch up with this rising star to talk about the pandemic, her new show, and what her role means for the trans community.

Ok, for starters, how in the world did this show come together? It’s so soon after the actual events, how did you make it all happen?

(Laughs) Well, I don’t know all the events that went down before I became a part of the show, but for me, it was like an audition I never thought I’d get. It was one of the first shows to start filming after lockdown, so I was like, everyone is probably sending them audition tapes…so I was like, yeah, I’ll audition, but I’ll never get the role. I came into the show very much by surprise (laughs).

Once we were all signed on and ready to make the show happen, it basically came together from pure determination. We all knew how important this moment was and how difficult lockdown was. We knew it was important that we create a show where people could revisit those events with humor and compassion.

A vast majority of the show looks like it was filmed on Zoom. How did you actually make the series?

It was a total crash course in production. Lots of Zoom meetings and iPhones…

Wait, so the entire show is actually filmed using iPhones?

Yep. So, basically, the entire cast and crew had a big zoom call, which was used as a big feed for our cameras. So we would shoot into one of the phone’s cameras, and the director and DP were watching us, giving us feedback from another. They would tell us how to change our sitting positions or to move around objects in our apartments, it was crazy!

We were the ones who would mic ourselves up and capture the audio, we were the ones operating our cameras (phones), and we were the ones putting up and taking down our sets after each shot. It was such a unique experience. And you’ll notice there’s a few shots each episode that are shot using a bigger camera…we had to learn to operate those cameras ourselves too!

CONNECTING — “Pilot” — Pictured in this screen grab: (top row l-r) Otmara Marrero as Annie, Ely Henry as Rufus, Preacher Lawson as Ben (bottom row l-r) Parvesh Cheena as Darius, Jill Knox as Michelle, Keith Powell as Garrett, Shakina Nayfack as Ellis — (Photo by: NBC)

I think the wounds of lockdown are still really fresh and we’re still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic. Was it difficult for you to revisit such a horrible time so soon after it had ended?

Well, it’s interesting because I live in New York, and you know, we got hit so hard and so soon. The bottom fell out in New York really early on. So, by the time we started filming, New York had already starting flattening the curve before the rest of the country had their big breakouts over the summer. But it was certainly a lot to process. It was very powerful to relive it all.

Speaking of New York, I was trapped here during lockdown too, in my tiny little room, with two roommates who had just become unemployed. And here in NYC we got hit so early on, when nobody knew what was going on and there was that constant sound of an ambulance blaring on every single street in the city… It was absolutely terrible. And while most of the show’s characters live in LA, one of the characters is a nurse in New York City. And I swear, the second she appears, I was like…Thank you! I think it’s so important for the nation to hear what it was like living here during the outbreak.

Yeah, after she first shows up and has her big opening scene I literally told the writers that it felt like Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart monologue for this era. It was the first great monologue from the point of view of a frontline medical worker during the pandemic. It truly felt iconic to me, so I’m very excited for audiences to watch her character’s experience.

There’s also another really powerful part of this series…from my understanding, your role in Connecting… makes you the first trans woman to have a lead role in a network comedy. Has it sunken in yet that you’re an absolute trailblazer who is about to change television forever?

Wow, yeah it’s such a huge moment, but I’ll be honest, for me, it feels more like a win for the community. It feels like a victory for the collective siblinghood of trans people everywhere. There were so many trans actors who paved the way for me to be in this position. People like Laverne Cox, Jamie Clayton, the entire cast of Pose, Chaz Bono, I mean…there’s honestly so many people who helped get society to the point where it is now. So yes, I am thrilled that this moment will go down in the history books, but I’m also thrilled that it’s a celebration for the whole community!

CONNECTING… (Photo by:NBC Entertainment)

I got to see a few sneak previews of episodes before this interview, which was super exciting, and I noticed that being trans is a part of your character, but your plotline doesn’t just revolve around the fact that you’re trans, which I loved. I remember growing up it used to be if you saw a gay person in media, they were either just coming out, or they were dying of AIDS. And I was like…do gay people ever just live their lives? Was it important for you to show that your character was more than just trans?

Well, what’s interesting is that the character wasn’t written as trans. It wasn’t until I was cast for the role that I was like, ok we’re going to make her a trans woman. And one of the first things they did after bringing me onto the show was they hired a trans screenwriter. So we had a trans person in the writing room, which also helped really bring authenticity to the story. And that’s awesome because that’s the kind of stuff that really makes a huge difference. But yes, I wanted to be a full, well-rounded character.

And you know, I don’t even think we mention that I’m trans in the first episode.

I noticed that as well! It wasn’t until episode two that it’s even brought up.

Yeah, which I loved because it’s like, the audience meets my character just as they would any other person. And then you get to see a lot of my character’s growth through the season, which is a lot of fun.

What are some of the things you really hope the audience takes away from the show?

I hope people feel less isolated. I hope they can see a bit of themselves or their friends in us. And I hope they can feel their own experiences of the trials and triumphs of 2020 are valid from watching us.

And how about you personally as an actress? Do you have anything fun coming up?

Well, obviously, I’d love a second season to Connecting… I think it’s such a fun show and because of how current it is, there’s just so much material we can play with. As far as my other work, I wrote a play called Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club. It’s all about my time in Thailand recovering from my gender confirmation surgery, and all the wonderful people of the community I met when I was there.

It was going to premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, but because of COVID, they’ve moved the festival to Audible. So, this fall, my play will be performed as a radio play and will be streaming online and through the Audible app. I’m very excited and proud of it because it’s my own story and was inspired by so many brave people.


Contents

The series also featured new characters (the Frankenstones, the Cavemouse) as well as older characters (Penny, Wiggy, Moonrock and Schleprock of 1971's The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show and 1972's The Flintstone Comedy Hour on CBS, Al Capp's the Shmoo from his show The New Shmoo which aired on NBC in 1979, and Captain Caveman from his own series on ABC in 1977 which lasted three seasons).

A series of gags, educational spots, games, how-to-draw and a dance-of-the-week were featured in-between the six segments every week. In 1982, reruns of the show were repackaged for two seasons under the title The Flintstone Funnies. Reruns of "Dino and the Cavemouse" aired on the Disney Channel adaption of Wake, Rattle, and Roll.

This segment featured the traditional antics and adventures of The Flintstones and The Rubbles.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

Fred and Barney are part-time police officers assisted by the Shmoo as a trainee where they work under the direction of Sgt. Boulder. The trio fought crime in the city of Bedrock, most of the time chasing after the Frankenstones' pet monster Rockjaw.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

This was a Flintstones-themed adaptation of the "mystery-solving teens and a pet" format popularized by Scooby-Doo and its various spin-offs in the 1970s (including Captain Caveman's original show on ABC). In this series, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm (similar, yet aged down a little, from their appearance in The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show) with pet dinosaur Dino solve mysteries in the city of Bedrock. They would sometimes be accompanied by pals Penny, Wiggy and Moonrock.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

This segment served as a prequel to the earlier series Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, focusing on Captain Caveman's time in Bedrock before he was frozen in ice. Captain Caveman (under his "secret identity" of Chester the office boy), Betty and Wilma work for Lou Granite (based on Lou Grant) at The Daily Granite. [4] To disguise himself as Chester, Captain Caveman wore a pair of glasses and a tie (similar to the Clark Kent persona used by Superman). Despite the simplicity of his disguise, he required a coat rack and an elaborate transformation sequence to become Captain Caveman.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

The segment featured Dino pitted against a pesky little Cavemouse in chase sequences similar to the Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts. These sequences were supervised by notable animation director Tex Avery. Two segments aired per episode.

Season 1 (1980–81) Edit

Season 2 (1981–82) Edit

This segment featured the Flintstones' neighbors The Frankenstones: Frank, his wife Hidea, their kooky daughter Atrocia, and their teenage son Freaky, who is friends with fellow teenager Pebbles Flintstone.


Contents

Las Vegas is a comedy-drama that focuses primarily on Danny McCoy and his boss Ed Deline. They and others work at the Montecito, a fictional hotel-casino located on the Las Vegas Strip. The employees deal with a variety of issues, such as casino security, restaurant management, and valet parking. Danny, a former U.S. Marine, is initially the resort's head of security, while Ed, a former CIA officer, serves as president of operations for much of the series. Danny has on-and-off relationships with Mary, a childhood friend and Delinda, who is Ed's daughter.

The Montecito undergoes several ownership changes during the course of the series. The resort is demolished in the season-two finale in favor of a new Montecito, which opens in the third season under the ownership of Monica Mancuso. Following the end of season four, Ed and Mary go into hiding after killing her father, who sexually abused her as a child. In the fifth season, the Montecito is purchased by A.J. Cooper, a billionaire and former Marine. Danny becomes the new president of operations, and he moves in with Delinda, who is pregnant with their first child.

Main Edit

  • Ed Deline (James Caan) is initially the head of security and surveillance for the Montecito, but is promoted to president of operations in the eighth episode. He is portrayed as a loving husband and father, as well as a father figure to his employees, especially Danny. Nevertheless, he is a tough man and does not hesitate to use violence to get what he wants. As the former director of counterintelligence for the CIA, his past has come back to haunt him on several occasions. During season three, Ed is briefly in retirement due to disagreements with the new Montecito owner, although he soon returns to his position. Caan and his character depart the series in season five, when Ed becomes a wanted man for killing Mary Connell's father. [1] Ed goes into hiding and resumes work for the CIA, being stationed in Paris.
  • Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel) is initially Ed Deline's apprentice and good friend who is later promoted to head of security for the Montecito. During season three, Danny briefly serves as president of operations for the resort, after Ed resigns. Upon Ed's return, Danny is reinstated as head of security. Danny is officially named the new president in season 5. Danny was born and raised in Las Vegas. At the end of season two, his father Larry McCoy (John Terry) dies in an accident and Danny inherits his father's house and construction company. Danny sells the house and uses the money to buy a condo. Danny is a former U.S. Marine, with guerrilla and counterintelligence training. He is recalled into military service in Iraq at the end of season one. In season two, he is awarded the Silver Star after calling in an air strike over his unit and himself when they were ambushed and overrun. Only he survives the strike. He is involved in an on-and-off relationship with Ed's daughter, Delinda, in season one. Danny and Mary have known each other since childhood, and they also have an on-and-off relationship. Danny proposes to Mary, but she calls off the engagement because she feels that he has a lot of things to sort out for himself. He ultimately begins living with girlfriend Delinda, who is pregnant with their first child in the final season.
  • Mary Connell (Nikki Cox) is the special events director at the casino. A Las Vegas native, her father sexually abused her when she was a child, and Danny always came to her rescue. She is sometimes involved in a relationship with Danny, who proposes to her in season two – she accepts, then later calls off the engagement. In season three, Mary is promoted to hotel manager. In season four, she helps her stepmother and half sisters testify against her father – a case which is lost because of his connections. Near the end of season four, she purchases a gun to shoot her father. Cox departed the series and did not return for the fifth season. Explaining her character's absence, Mary is hiding from the law for her part in her father's murder, [1] but is apparently safe, as she sends Danny a photo with a house and white picket fence (her dream house).
  • Mike Cannon (James Lesure) is Danny's friend who studied mechanical engineering at MIT. He works as head valet for the first season, but is recruited by Ed to the security department to help during Danny's military absence. He stays on as security personnel following Danny's return. In season 5, Mike is promoted to head of security and surveillance. In the pilot episode, Mike has a wife and daughter this plot line is seemingly abandoned thereafter. Mike and Nessa become close in season two, until she leaves to be with her father and sister. Mike and Piper get married in the final season.
  • Samantha Jane "Sam" Marquez (Vanessa Marcil) is the self-proclaimed best casino host in the world. She lives in a Montecito suite and is portrayed as a ruthless businessperson whose sole interest is to get high rollers to play at the Montecito. However, in the fourth season, she reveals that she is only "cold and jaded because everyone expects it of her", and "underneath it all, she is weak and pathetic like everyone else." [2] She was married to billionaire Casey Manning, from whom she was estranged for seven years prior to divorcing. She is also involved in an on-and-off relationship with Det. Woody Hoyt from Crossing Jordan, until it ends in the fourth season. During this season, she is seen to be currently in love with and waiting for Jeremy, who fell into a 20-year coma after falling off a stool at a slot machine he is the man who first brought her to Las Vegas from Austin, Texas. [2] After Casey's death, Sam is left in control of the Montecito, but she fails to pay back taxes owed on the property. Her ownership lasts for a week, until A.J. Cooper buys the Montecito by paying off the taxes. In the season-five finale, Casey's younger brother Vic Manning visits the Montecito to take over ownership. At the end of the show, Sam and Vic plan to get married. When asked why Sam wants to marry Vic – she always stated she did not have feelings for him, though he loved her – she says it is because Vic understands her and will not try to change her plus, he reminds her of Casey.
  • Delinda Deline (Molly Sims) is Ed and Jillian's daughter. She is the entertainment manager for the Montecito's clubs, and also works as the food and beverage manager for the resort. Delinda is shown to have a genius-level IQ, and once majored in psychology, but decided the human race's biggest problem is that they are boring. During season three, Delinda leaves the Montecito to work for another casino. She returns at the request of new Montecito owner Monica Mancuso, who is disappointed that club earnings have dropped without her. Derek, an old college flame, asks Delinda to marry him in season three. She accepts the proposal, but just before the ceremony, Ed is shot. In the fray of Ed's medical crisis, Delinda calls off the wedding. In season five, she becomes pregnant with Danny's child, and they begin a relationship. At the end of the season-five finale, Delinda becomes overwhelmed with pain after just learning that Montecito owner A.J. Cooper is alive he was supposedly killed in a plane crash. Delinda begins bleeding, although the series ends on a cliffhanger, leaving the fate of her unborn baby unknown.
  • Nessa Holt (Marsha Thomason), also known as "The Ice Queen", is the head pit boss of the Montecito and is described as being the best in Las Vegas. She was born in Manchester, England, and has a shady past due to her father's connections with Ed Deline. Her father was a well-known gambler, cheater, and con artist, who was forcefully recruited into the CIA and faked his death. Nessa was raised by Ed and Jillian for some years, and is referred to as a sister to Delinda. At the opening of season three, Nessa is explained to have left Las Vegas and been given a new identity to be able to live with her father and long-lost sister. She and Mike had been getting closer to a relationship, although she fails to say goodbye to him.
  • A.J. Cooper (Tom Selleck) becomes the latest owner of the Montecito in season five. He is a former Marine and cattle rancher from Wyoming who stirs things up at the casino. His net worth is about $2 billion. Cooper was a black ops Marine in the Vietnam War and awarded the Bronze Star for his work. During his time in the Marines, he served in the Battle of Khe Sanh. [3] In the season-five finale, Cooper's jet crashes during a business trip, and he is presumed dead. However, during the final moments of the show, Cooper arrives at his memorial service and appears to be fine.

Recurring Edit

  • Monica Mancuso (Lara Flynn Boyle) becomes the new owner of the Montecito in season three. She is portrayed as self-centered and bull-headed, and is generally disliked by the staff. At age 25, she married an 83-year-old billionaire. Upon his death at age 93, she inherited his fortune and used it to purchase and upgrade the Montecito. Dedicated to proving that she is more than just a woman who inherited money, she is determined to make the Montecito a success. She uses the resort as collateral to try purchasing other casinos in Las Vegas. Nine episodes into the third season, Monica dies in a freak accident: a gust of wind blows her off the roof of the Montecito and down the Las Vegas Strip, before she crashes into a shoe store. Her outfit, with wing-like sleeves, contributed to her being blown off the roof. The scene was created to be humorous. [1][4][5] In accordance with her final wishes, the Montecito staff flush her cremated remains down a toilet in her suite at the resort.
  • Casey Manning (Dean Cain) is a shrewd and cunning businessman, and Sam Marquez's ex-husband. He buys the Montecito in the third season, following Monica's death. In season four, Casey is killed in a fishing accident: a giant squid envelops him off the coast of New Zealand. The autopsy reveals that he was poisoned before the accident. [1][6] He leaves the Montecito to Sam, who faces tax problems he left. In the series finale, Sam plans to marry Casey's brother Vic, though she does not love him, because Vic reminds her of Casey.
  • Piper Nielsen (Camille Guaty), the newest concierge of the Montecito, is introduced in season five. She is fired for letting an underage person gamble, but Cooper pays a $1 million fine to hire her back, raising speculation among the casino staff about their relationship. Piper never knew who her father was, until Cooper reveals that they served together in the Marines. Before her father died, Cooper promised that he would keep an eye on Piper. As she moved to various states over the years, he did the same in order to be there for her, though without her knowledge. Mike and Piper get married near the end of the season.
  • Mitch Sassen (Mitch Longley) is a regular member of the surveillance team, and like the actor who plays him, he is paraplegic and uses a wheelchair.
  • Jillian Deline (Cheryl Ladd) is Ed's wife and Delinda's mother. Jillian expresses growing resentment of Ed's time on the job. In the season-four finale, Jillian says she will leave Ed if he decides to purchase the Montecito. In the opening of season five, she is revealed to support Ed's decision for better or worse after learning of her future grandchild. She leaves Ed after they move away under sketchy circumstances.
  • Luis Perez (Guy Ecker) is a Las Vegas police detective who appears in the first two seasons. He is a childhood friend of Danny and Mary, and friend of Ed Deline and his team. He also had served in the Marines, and his unit is later recalled for service in Iraq, where he dies in the first week there. A funeral is held in his honor with Ed and everyone attending, and he is discovered to have a child whose existence was unknown to him. [7]
  • Kathy Berson (Rikki Klieman) is the Montecito's main legal adviser and lawyer, introduced in season two. If any legal issues arise, Kathy is the first person whom everyone asks.
  • Polly (Suzanne Whang) is a Korean manicurist in the Montecito's spa. She is introduced in season three, and later forms a friendship with A.J. Cooper. Polly openly discusses her sexual experiences.
  • Sarasvati Kumar (Lakshmi Manchu) is an accountant for the casino. She appears in the first three seasons, and eventually begins a relationship with Mike, although this ends in the season-three finale after she goes home with Delinda's bachelorette party strippers.
  • Gunther (Harry Groener), appearing in the first three seasons, is the temperamental executive chef at the Montecito's original restaurant. He habitually has issues that require Delinda's attention, and develops a rivalry with Wolfgang Puck when the more famous chef opens a restaurant at the casino. Gunther eventually quits after losing a cook-off to Puck he sells his restaurant to Charo.
  • Erika (Anna Pheil), appearing in seasons three through five, is a hard-as-nails barmaid Danny hires on a lark when he sees her dealing with customers while tending bar at a strip club.
  • Shannon (Malaya Drew) is a member of the Montecito's security. She plays a small role in six episodes, spanning the third and fourth season. She briefly shows interest in Mike.

Notable guest stars Edit

Various guest stars have appeared on the show, sometimes portraying themselves. [8] [9] [10] Notable guest stars have included Alec Baldwin, [11] Little Richard, [12] Mark McGrath, [13] Sylvester Stallone, [14] Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman, [15] [16] Norm Clarke, [17] Jewel, [18] and Gladys Knight. [10] Larry Manetti and Roger E. Mosley made a guest appearance in season 5 as characters named Larry and Roger, who are friends of A.J. Cooper. Selleck, Manetti, and Mosley had previously starred on Magnum, P.I., and their appearance together in Las Vegas marked their first reunion since the ending of Magnum, P.I. in 1988. [19] [20]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
123September 22, 2003 ( 2003-09-22 ) May 17, 2004 ( 2004-05-17 )
224September 13, 2004 ( 2004-09-13 ) May 23, 2005 ( 2005-05-23 )
323September 19, 2005 ( 2005-09-19 ) May 12, 2006 ( 2006-05-12 )
417October 27, 2006 ( 2006-10-27 ) March 9, 2007 ( 2007-03-09 )
519September 28, 2007 ( 2007-09-28 ) February 15, 2008 ( 2008-02-15 )

Development Edit

Las Vegas was created by Gary Scott Thompson, who also served as an executive producer. [21] The idea for the series dates back to Las Vegas vacations that Thompson would take in the late 1980s. On one trip, Thompson developed a vision of a dead body laying in the desert, and then "we pan up and there's the Strip 50 yards away. That was what ended up in the pilot, that opening shot, but I couldn't ever figure out what that went to. So I had that thing in my head for 15 years." At various points, Thompson tried developing this idea into a novel or play. [22]

In 2002, Thompson had been working with NBC on a television pilot for a different series although this pilot was unsuccessful, NBC officials who worked with Thompson later asked him to create a Las Vegas-based series. [21] At the time, Thompson felt that there was a lack of "fun" and entertaining shows on television, telling NBC that there were too many procedural dramas such as CSI and Law & Order. [22] For Las Vegas, Thompson was inspired by the city's evolving history and its megaresorts, [21] saying, "If there are 127,000 (hotel) rooms in the city, that means I've got a potential 127,000 stories every week, because everybody's got a story, and so do all the people who live here." [23] The show would be reminiscent of the 1970s series Vegas. Originally known under the working title Casino Eye, the new series would also include Scott Steindorff as producer. [24] Initially, Don Johnson was also going to serve as an executive producer, although he ultimately had no involvement in the final project. [25] [26]

Casting and character changes Edit

James Caan was among several actors considered for the role of Ed Deline, although the producers were initially unsure that they could get Caan to sign on. [27] [28] Johnson was considered for the role, but turned it down. [29] Caan was cast at the last minute, [27] marking his first starring role in a television series. [30] Caan later said that he took the television role due to a lack of film offers. [31] He also said in 2005 that he had never watched the series. [32] Caan was initially doubtful about starring in a series [27] [28] he insisted that his role require effort on his part, [11] and that the character be "multidimensional and complex." [27] As originally written, the character would spend much of his time in a surveillance room looking at camera footage. Caan disliked this idea and considered the role limited, saying that Ed Deline should be "more elastic, so there could be some humor." Caan had the role rewritten, allowing his character to spend time outside of the surveillance room. Actress Molly Sims said about Caan, "If the writing's not good, or he doesn't like it, he's very picky, but that's what makes it good. He adds clout to our show." [11] Caan and Sims did not get along for the first two seasons. [33] Approximately 350 women auditioned for the role of Delinda Deline, before it eventually went to Sims. [34]

The character of Danny McCoy was developed by Thompson to be a Las Vegas resident, like himself. He said, "It's a city of almost 2 million people. We wanted to capture not just the Strip. People live here and it's their home, and we wanted to capture that." [35] Nikki Cox's character, Mary, was originally an escort in the pilot episode, although her title was changed to events planner for the rest of the series. According to Sims, "I believe the network felt that it would be 'unseemly' to have your protagonist's girl-next-door sweetheart and the ultimate love of his life be an escort." [36] The part of Nessa was originally written as a 60-year-old man, although Thompson was impressed enough with Marsha Thomason's audition that he rewrote the role for her. [35] Thomason signed a seven-year contract, [37] but later departed the series after the second season, in order to pursue other projects. [38]

Filming Edit

Filming for the pilot episode began on March 17, 2003, in the Las Vegas Valley. Filming locations included the Mandalay Bay resort, the Fremont Street Experience, [21] [39] [40] [34] and a warehouse that the production crew used to build a surveillance room set. [21] The pilot cost $5 million, [41] making it the most expensive in NBC history. [42] [43] Filming lasted nearly three weeks, [21] [42] and the pilot was picked up shortly thereafter. [43] Series production began in July 2003, with an eight-day shooting schedule for each hour-long episode. [44] Each episode initially cost $2.3 million to produce, [13] although the budget was gradually raised to $2.7 million as the series progressed. [45] [46]

Although most of the production occurred in California, some filming also occasionally took place in Las Vegas. [47] [48] Filming primarily occurred at Culver Studios in California. [48] [14] [27] Steindorff said that the writers would make regular visits to Las Vegas to "immerse themselves in that world". [14] Thompson said that during these trips, the team would ask real security guards "if it's too far-fetched if we do X, Y and Z. They say, 'Are you crazy? That happens all of the time'". [8]

The series premiered in September 2003, and its success prompted NBC to greenlight nine additional episodes for the season. [49] The show went over budget in its first season, necessitating the need for an cheap episode that would keep the cast on the Montecito set in California. As a result, an episode was written in which a blackout and a murder occur simultaneously at the Montecito, keeping the characters at the resort. Thompson said, "We were not allowed to have any guest appearances. I thought, 'How do we trap them all in the casino.'" The episode received some criticism from people who doubted that a casino blackout was possible, although such an event occurred at the Bellagio resort a few months after the episode aired. [50]

To refresh the series, Thompson wrote in the demolition of the Montecito for the end of season two, with a new version of the resort being opened in the third season. [22] In addition, Lara Flynn Boyle was cast as Monica Mancuso, the new owner of the Montecito, in July 2005. [22] [51] For the role, Boyle took inspiration from Shirley MacLaine: "I always daydreamed about being one of the Rat Pack. Shirley MacLaine could really hold her own with [Frank Sinatra and] the boys. I feel the same way — never let them see you sweat or cry." [52]

Montecito Edit

Early on, the Culver Studios complex had eight sets that depicted the Montecito resort, including a 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m 2 ) casino set. [48] [47] Other sets depicted hotel rooms, hallways, elevators, a dance club, [48] and the Montecito's surveillance room. [30] A coffee shop set was added for the second season. [48] Some Montecito scenes were also filmed at the Mandalay Bay, [53] particularly in the casino and at the resort's wave pool. [54] Glenn Schaeffer, the president of Mandalay Resort Group, also made several appearances in early episodes. [53] During season 1, the Green Valley Ranch, a hotel-casino in Henderson, Nevada, was also used to portray the Montecito. [55] [56] [57]

A new Montecito set was created for the third season, measuring 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m 2 ) and occupying three stories across six sound stages. [45] [54] The production team incorporated product placement into the set to alleviate its high cost. Among the brands featured in the third season was Aston Martin, which is shown to have a dealership at the Montecito. This was done following the opening of a Ferrari dealership at the new Wynn resort. Thompson wanted the series to feel current with the latest attractions in Las Vegas. [58] A Wolfgang Puck restaurant was also added to the set, and Puck appeared as himself in the series. [59] [60]

As of season 4, the Montecito set included 146 slot machines and 24 table games. This set went $2 million over budget, but was built in eight weeks to meet the deadline for the start of filming. [46] Exterior shots show the Montecito at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, across the street from the Luxor resort, although the views from interior shots imply different and contradictory locations on the Strip. [54] [61] [62] Ahead of the fifth season premiere, Thompson joked about the Montecito's location, "We're just going to keep moving it around, just to piss people off." [61]

Final seasons and cancellation Edit

Season 3 saw a drop in ratings, and Las Vegas was only renewed for 17 episodes in its next season, instead of the standard 22. The series was facing cancellation after the premiere of its fourth season. For the season finale, Thompson told NBC, "I'm gonna make this the biggest cliffhanger anyone's ever seen. And if you cancel us, you're gonna have 15 million fans pissed off at you, not me." [63] The fate of a fifth season was contingent on budget cuts. [64] NBC announced a fifth season in February 2007, while stating that Caan and Nikki Cox would depart the series. Caan had wanted to resume film acting he previously had to pass on several film opportunities due to conflicts with the Las Vegas production schedule. [63] [65] [66] Cox was let go from the production due to budget cuts. [32] [66] Although she was upset and surprised by the decision, [66] she had also suggested during season 4 that it may be time for her to move on from the series. [63] Like Cox, Caan's departure would also allow for budget cuts. [67] The writers were caught off-guard by the cast departures, which were announced at the last minute. [68]

Tom Selleck was cast in April 2007, as the Montecito's new owner, A.J. Cooper. [64] [69] [70] Las Vegas marked Selleck's first main role on a television series since Magnum, P.I. [64] Selleck was Thompson's first choice for the role. [12] To prepare, Selleck watched the previous season on DVD. [71] Selleck's character would fill the void left by Caan, while a new female concierge (ultimately played by Camille Guaty) would serve as a replacement for Cox's character. [64] [72] Filming for the fifth season began at the end of April 2007, three months earlier than usual. Production began early to avoid a potential writers strike. [73] [74] Three episodes ultimately went unproduced because of the strike, leaving the season with 19 episodes. [16] [75]

Due to low ratings, NBC canceled the series on February 20, 2008, five days after the airing of the season 5 finale. [16] [76] [77] Thompson said, "I sold my soul to get a Season 5, so I didn't have a soul left to sell. We fought an uphill battle from day one. We were the little big show that could." [75] Thompson said that the series did not receive adequate promotion, [12] and Caan later said that some poor episode plots helped contribute to the show's downfall. [78]

The series ended with several cliffhangers, including the fate of Delinda Deline's unborn baby. [79] In reaction to the cancellation, upset fans sent baby booties and dolls to NBC, demanding a proper ending. [16] [80] Discussions had been held about making a two-hour film to serve as a finale. [75] In the event that a proper resolution should not be possible, Thompson had an alternate plan for Danny McCoy and Delinda Deline to cameo in an episode of Knight Rider, carrying their newborn. [81] Due to Knight Rider 's cancellation, however, Danny and Delinda's cameo appearance never came to fruition. [82]

A soundtrack for the series was released in September 2005. [83] [84]

Various theme songs have been used for the opening credits, depending on where, how, or when the show has aired. In France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, the UK, and other countries, the theme song is "Let It Ride" by Charlie Clouser and Jon Ingoldsby, while in other countries, such as the US and Canada, the theme song is "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley, off of the album Memories: The '68 Comeback Special.

For American DVD releases, episodes available for viewing on NBC's website and reruns shown on the cable network E!, Clouser's song is used (with the exception of the pilot episode), most likely because the original clearances for use of the Presley song did not extend to syndication and home video sales.

Broadcast Edit

Las Vegas aired on NBC and premiered on September 22, 2003. It originally aired on Monday nights, but was moved to Friday nights starting on March 3, 2006. NBC had acquired the rights to air NBC Sunday Night Football, through a contract with the National Football League (NFL). The NFL sought to distance itself from the city of Las Vegas, and a clause in the contract prohibited any mention of the city during Sunday Night Football. This would include next-night promotion of Las Vegas, prompting the change to Fridays. [16] [85]

The third season ended with several cliffhangers, and the season 4 premiere was delayed twice, eventually premiering on October 27, 2006. [18] [86] This was done in order to give 1 vs. 100, a popular new game show, another Friday night in the timeslot, while providing more time to promote the season premiere of Las Vegas. [86]

The series aired its 100th episode on January 11, 2008. [34]

The American channel TNT purchased the rights to air reruns, beginning in 2007. [87] [88] E! later started airing reruns, in 2020. [89]

Home media Edit

All five seasons were released on DVD. The DVDs include extra scenes that were too sexual for network television. [1] [22] These scenes were shot specifically for the DVDs, as Thompson said that extra features helped DVD sales. [22] As of early 2008, the series had sold 500,000 DVD copies in North America, with four seasons available at the time. [1]

Name Episode # Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season One 23 January 4, 2005 March 14, 2005
November 28, 2005
Season Two 24 September 13, 2005 December 5, 2005
November 28, 2005
Season Three 23 September 12, 2006 November 30, 2006 November 15, 2006
Season Four 17 September 11, 2007 October 29, 2007 April 1, 2009
Season Five 19 July 22, 2008 October 13, 2008 December 2, 2009

Critical response Edit

Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times reviewed the pilot episode. She was critical of Caan's acting, but wrote that the show "manages to be slick, fast-paced and engaging", concluding that it "leaves enough mysteries open to keep viewers coming back for another look". [90] Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times described Caan as the show's only "sign of real life", finding the other actors to be attractive but otherwise lacking: "They are not so much characters -- not yet, anyway -- as extensions of their clothes, or cleavage. You don't relate to them so much as simply stare." Lloyd considered the production values to be "extremely high" and wrote, "This may be trash, but it comes in an attractive can." [91]

Phil Gallo of Variety called the series a guilty pleasure and described the tone as "light and unforced", thanks to the actors and "some sharp editing". [92] Reviewing the first season, DVD Talk described Las Vegas as a "fast-paced, slick, and attractive television series that rarely takes itself too seriously and never fails to entertain." [93]

In a review for the second season, Charlie McCollum of San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times called Las Vegas a guilty pleasure and wrote, "Flashy, often trashy and slickly produced, the drama may be fluff, but it's good, sexy fluff with James Caan on hand to provide a bit of gravitas." [94]

Television ratings Edit

Originally, Las Vegas was not expected to succeed. [34] However, it proved to be a ratings success in its first season, [11] [47] [48] despite competition from Monday Night Football, Everybody Loves Raymond, Joe Millionaire, Skin, and My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. [13] [95] Ratings dropped after the series moved to Friday nights in 2006, with episodes averaging less than 9 million viewers. [32] Caan said that the move to Fridays was "like a death sentence." [78]

As of early 2008, the series aired in multiple counties. It was popular among viewers in Australia, France, and Spain, but received limited viewership in Germany. [1]

Below is a table of Las Vegas seasonal rankings in the U.S. television market, based on average total viewers per episode. Each U.S. network television season starts in September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.

Season Episodes Timeslot (ET) Originally aired Nielsen Ratings
Season premiere Season finale TV season Rank Viewers 18-49 rank
1 23 Monday 9:00 PM September 22, 2003 May 17, 2004 2003–04 #27 [96] 11.83 [96] #18 [97]
2 24 September 13, 2004 May 23, 2005 2004–05 #33 [98] 11.43 [98] #30 [97]
3 23 Monday 9:00 PM (Sept. 2005 – Feb. 2006) Friday 9:00 PM (Mar. 2006 – May 2006) September 19, 2005 May 12, 2006 2005–06 #46 [99] 10.51 [99] #43 [100]
4 17 Friday 9:00 PM October 27, 2006 March 9, 2007 2006–07 #70 [101] 9.02 [101] #65 [102]
5 19 Friday 10:00 PM September 28, 2007 February 15, 2008 2007–08 #66 [103] 8.46 [103] #83 [104]

Las Vegas had several crossover episodes with the NBC series Crossing Jordan, starting in the second season. [105] [18] A total of eight crossover episodes were produced between the two shows.

The Montecito has appeared in several other shows — Heroes, Knight Rider, [106] Medium, [107] Monk, [108] and Passions — when characters from those shows visited Las Vegas. Of these, only the daytime soap Passions included Las Vegas characters in cameo roles: [109] Nikki Cox appeared as Mary Connell.

The Las Vegas episode "The Story of Owe" mentions a Dunder-Mifflin convention, obliquely linking to The Office. [110]

In the episodes "Father of the Bride Redux" and "Died in Plain Sight", when Ed Deline travels to Morocco to find and relocate a former CIA asset, the false passport he uses is in the name of Alan Bourdillion Traherne. This is the name of the character he played in the 1966 film El Dorado. [111]

The Las Vegas tie-in novel High Stakes Game, by Jeff Mariotte, tells the tale of what could have occurred between the season-two finale and the season-three premiere when the casino was destroyed and rebuilt and the characters briefly went their separate ways. A second novel called Sleight of Hand, also by Mariotte, was launched in 2007.


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This graphic tee comes in bold colors and depicts the Billionaire Boys' Club astronaut on a spacewalk in a field of bold blue. You can opt for a tie-dye graphic if you want even more color.

It's a fast-paced game and a music mixer in one: Each card that's played activates a track, which blends seamlessly with all the other cards/tracks being played. The cards include songs by Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino, Disturbed, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons, Sam Hunt, Sia, The Weeknd and others.

Give his room celestial vibes with this lamp, which uses a 3D process to look and feel like the surface of the moon. It can light up in 16 different colors, and teens can use a remote to make different lighting effects.

Bring the escape room experience to the tabletop with this game, which challenges players to find clues and solve puzzles to "escape." Each game can only be used once, but there's many to choose from. (You can also find re-playable at-home escape games.)

This stencil helps teens make neat lines with a razor &mdash no more mistakes in their beards, goatees, sideburns or hairlines. Sound familiar? You might have seen this on Shark Tank.

Just a little something for all the gamers out there. It works perfectly with an "I Paused My Game to Be Here" shirt.

Who needs AirPods? These are more affordable, can work for six hours without charging and are even water-resistant. Plus, they come in five colors.

This drone comes in a protective bubble, so it'll survive those bumps that less-than-careful teenage boys put their drones through.

This. may look like it was made from beskar metal to blend in with Mandalorian armor &mdash specifically Boba Fett's (sorry Din Djarin fans) &mdash but it's really the perfect backpack for Earth-dwellers. It even comes with a padded laptop compartment.

If they can't stand earbuds and want on-ear headphones, this set is an affordable entry into the Beats by Dre line. They're lightweight and can handle all music and phone calls, but they do require a headphone jack. (The Beats wireless headphones cost more.)

This game is shocking &mdash literally! Each player grabs a trigger from the base, then waits for a red light to turn green. When it does, everyone has to press the trigger as fast as possible, or get zap! (You can set the electricity to low, medium or high, depending on your shock tolerance.)

Sure, it's a gift for him, but if you put it up in the backyard, the whole family will be able to play. It's a great dorm game, too.

If your teen spends all his time camping or at the beach, get him this outdoor speaker so he can take his music with him. It works with either an AUX cable or Bluetooth, and it can use Bluetooth to sync up more than one speaker for an enhanced listening experience. It's even designed to float if it gets dropped in water.

You get a two-for one with this gift: It comes with a 10x macro lens, and also a wideangle lens. Pretty soon, he'll be the designated family photographer.

Now he can wear his heart on his sleeve! This bracelet is handmade in Maasai Mara, Kenya and is made of genuine leather and glass beads.

These tiny dots have an adhesive back, and then they send out a Bluetooth signal so you can use an app to find them &mdash perfect for locating lost items. Stick them to remotes, headphones, gaming devices and anything he's constantly losing, and you'll never be enlisted to go on a hunt again.

Just take this lightweight lounger outside and wave it around a few times, and it'll fill with air and become an outdoor sofa perfect for relaxing. This is especially good for teens headed to college, since it's almost tailor-made for lazing about on the quad.

Now he can keep all his thoughts, plans and brilliant ideas all in one place. At 5.8" x 8.3", it's the perfect size for slipping in a bag or a big pocket.


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‘Superstore’ Was the Perfect Comedy for Less-Than-Funny Times

This week’s series finale closes out a delightful sitcom that didn’t shy from the challenges faced by America’s low-wage workers, including the current pandemic.

The first season of “Superstore” ended with a tried-and-true comic premise: An employee is going into labor! And she can’t make it to the hospital in time! We’re going to have to deliver the baby right here!

A call goes up over the loudspeaker at Cloud 9, the big-box store where the savings are “heavenly” and the customers look as if they’ve wandered off a George Romero set. Garrett (Colton Dunn), the customer service guy, starts to ask for a doctor but catches himself after a quick scan around the store: “Anybody here watch a lot of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’? Maybe ‘Nurse Jackie’? Not ‘The Knick.’”

As all the other employees huddle around Cheyenne (Nichole Sakura), the teen mom now huffing-and-puffing on an AstroTurf lawn display, each of them stay true to comic form, confidently harmonizing their quirks. Jonah (Ben Feldman), the store’s super-woke business-school dropout, speculates that she might be having “Braxton Hicks contractions,” a kind of false alarm, which prompts Amy (America Ferrera), the floor supervisor, to call him out for being a pretentious know-it-all. (They have a thing.)

Dina (Lauren Ash), a take-charge company woman in the Dwight Schrute mold, rolls up her sleeves. “I took part in a cow birth once,” she says. “The calf died. But I learned what not to do.” Glenn (Mark McKinney), the store’s anti-abortion Christian manager, offers that he “played the abortion doctor in a Hell House once.”

It’s a wonderfully manic half-hour of television, with laughs spread across the ensemble. But the name of the episode, “Labor,” suggests a double meaning. When the panic subsides — Jonah was right about the Braxton Hicks contractions, much to Amy’s annoyance — certain practical questions settle in: Why is Cheyenne working this late into her pregnancy? Why doesn’t the company offer maternity leave? Can she afford to take any days off?

“Superstore” ends its six-season run on Thursday as the punch-clock analog to another great NBC workplace comedy, “The Office,” of which the “Superstore” creator, Justin Spitzer, wrote many episodes. There are unmistakable echoes between the two, from the Jim and Pam-style will-they-or-won’t-they chemistry between Amy and Jonah to staff meetings that regularly descend into chaotic forums for dumb ideas or embarrassing personal squabbles.

And yet “Superstore,” with its more diverse and underpaid staff, kept bumping into issues more common to the American work force, specifically the vested legions of stockers and checkout clerks lining the aisles of Target, Walmart and other department-store beachheads. Unionization, immigration, racism, gun control, reproductive rights: The show wasn’t necessarily inclined to pick fights, but characters with low wages and few benefits are bound to have practical problems, and a store like Cloud 9 never insulated them from the outside world. It was an ecosystem, but not a bubble.

“It feels almost like a time capsule,” Feldman, who played Jonah across all six seasons, said in a phone interview earlier this month. “I feel like if we went back and watched ‘Superstore’ 20 or 30 years from now, or if my kids watched when they were older, it would be a helpful way of showing them what America was like at this specific time.”

So what was the America of “Superstore”? It’s a place where blue-collar workers cannot make a living wage and have to rely on ad-hoc solutions to problems that corporate can’t solve. When Cheyenne can’t get maternity leave, Glenn gives her a six-week paid suspension. (He is fired for that.) When deductibles become too high, Jonah tries to start a health care fund to pay for them but inadvertently creates a pyramid scheme.

When Garrett and other employees of color complain about the microaggressions they face every day, Glenn attempts to solve systemic racism by throwing them a pizza party as reparations. (“The break room is kind of a safe space for the historically marginalized,” Jonah says.)

Although “Superstore” was not long on Very Special Episodes, it did have the audacity to end its fourth season with an undocumented Filipino associate, Mateo (Nico Santos), getting carted away by immigration police. And this was no random dragnet: Corporate authorized a workplace enforcement as part of its strategy to crush a unionization effort. There is a melting-pot optimism to the Cloud 9 setting, where employees of varying ethnicities and personalities can resolve problems and find common cause. But this is America, too, the show implied, where corporate greed hammers its employees and hard-line immigration policies wind up infiltrating the local department store.

And yet Spitzer, who wrote Mateo’s detention as his final episode as showrunner — the hottest of potatoes to hand off to his successors, Gabe Miller and Jonathan Green — said that he never intended “Superstore” to be issue oriented.

“I never wanted to create a meanspirited show,” he said. “Even in times when we explored topics that were a little darker or more controversial, we always had a lot of support from the network because we never wanted it to be ugly. We never wanted to be hitting a message too hard.”

Spitzer said his message to his writers had been simply to remember that he “wanted all the characters to act out of self-interest.” That directive brought the issues to “Superstore,” not the other way around. A character like Amy might get excited about unionization when she’s still on the floor scanning bar codes. But when she starts making a six-figure salary in management, her convictions soften a bit. She can finally buy a house for her kids and not sweat about insurance premiums.

No comedy was better suited to live up to our pandemic moment, as “Superstore” did in its final season. From the early days of Covid-19, employees at stores like Cloud 9 have been hailed as essential frontline workers, quietly absorbing the invective (and spittle) of the unmasked while serving those with the luxury to shelter in place. Their bosses call them “the true heroes during this chaotic time,” but give them little guidance or personal protective equipment, which reduces one associate to fashioning a mask out of a coffee filter and the others to decapitate teddy bears and steal their neckerchiefs.

In a video call last week, Green said that it had helped that the show was established before the pandemic season. “If we had been starting the show right now during the pandemic, and trying to show what retail workers are going through at this time, I think it might have felt more heavy-handed or lecture-y,” he said.

And so “Superstore” ends with our friends in the trenches. It’s Garrett who’s behind a thin veil of plexiglass, taking returns from “the wet-lipped community.” It’s Dina who gives chase from a six-foot distance when a maskless customer runs after the last jar of pasta sauce. It’s Glenn who doesn’t want to be called a hero for pointing out where someone can find the bottled water.

There’s an esprit de corps to these characters that speaks to more than six seasons of consistently strong writing or the chemistry of its cast or even their fitful bids for collective bargaining. “Superstore” is a workplace sitcom that feels like society in miniature, a fractious pocket of humanity that comes together out of necessity and improvisation. Few of them would be friends outside work, but if they pull down the same shift long enough, they start to become family.



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