Big Ed Deline & Danny McCoy
Created by Gary Scott Thompson

"Never sleep with the boss's daughter. Never. Never"
--Paulie, one of Big Ed's "boys," gives Josh some advice.

Veteran actor James Caan plays "BIG ED" DELINE, the head of an elite team of Sin City hotel surveillance experts at the Montecito Resort & Casino in NBC's Las Vegas, a 2003 television series. It also stars Josh Duhamel as DANNY McCOY, as Deline's young partner.

Ed's a former CIA op, strictly old-fasioned, a family man who's very protective of his family. Josh is brash, an ex-Marine and Las Vegas native, with an eye for the ladies. About the only thing he and Big Ed seem to have in common (at least in the first episode) is an obsession with history and art trivia.

Former Charlie's Angel Cheryl Ladd shows up now and then as Caan's wife, Jillian, and Molly Sims plays Delinda, their rebellious daughter, who gets the series off to a rollicking start by being caught in bed with Josh by her father. Oh, the hilarity!

Some early thoughts on LAS VEGAS, from way back in 2003 when it made its debut:

  • Filmed in Smirk-O-Vision. Best use of almost-porn since the last Sports Illustrated Swim Bimbo issue. Teenage boys and middle-aged guys whose wives won't allow them to buy Playboy will love this show.
    .
  • Now that they've introduced all these dreadful, predictable characters in the pilot, will the actual show have a plot? Or will we just watch Caan simmer all season?
    .
  • Will they ever do any real detective work?
    .
  • Could they please give James Caan a decent show? Or at least something to do in this one, besides acting like James Caan? He deserves better than this.
    .
  • Is Josh Duhamel really tall, or is James Caan really that short?
    .
  • The hooker with a heart of gold? The well-groomed, street-smart black dude with a couple of degrees doing a Kookie, working as a car hop? The beefy, mumble-mouthed Italian security guard called "Paulie"? The Greek chorus of bar girl bimbos all coming on to Danny everytime he passes by? Check, check, check. What menu did they order these characters from?
    .
  • Why use "A Little Less Conversation" from Elvis as the theme song? Was Viva Las Vegas too obvious, or didn't they think of it? And don't they know Vegas is where rock stars go to die?

  • As slick, smug and ultimately shallow as the city itself!

I'm sorry -- I had high hopes, but couldn't handle it all. Maybe if they'd taken a low key approach, and tried to seduce me over a few episodes, I'd be more favourably inclined. But the pilot was the equivalent of someone dropping their trousers on the floor and shaking their butt in our faces. All that annoying, gimmicky flashing blinking quick-jump camera work (left over from Miami Vice, I assume) and strobing neon lights (left over from Vega$) finally got to me. Too much style, too little substance. And it just keeps rolling on, like a silicone-and-sequined Big Muddy, one "very special" episode after another.

But what do I know? It's a big hit over the last few years, they've launched a series of original paperbacks and there's even a tie-in soundtrack album.

Even a major cast change can't seem to kill off this monster. In season five, the under-utilized James Caan was yanked, and everyone's favourite utility player. Tom Selleck (post-Magnum, pre-Jesse Stone), was called in to play the new boss of the Montecito, "a charismatic, self-made billionaire who is surrounded by an air of mystery."

Supposedly the cast change was prompted by cost concerns -- all that location shooting supposedly costs big bucks -- although I wonder how much Selleck cost NBC?

The point, though, is moot. During the 2007-08 writers' strike, NBC finally pulled the plug.

"But still about three seasons too late," TV critc Dvid Kronke quipped. "I saw an episode recently and am pretty sure no one lifted a finger to ensure that the thing made sense... Here's a good measure of NBC's enhtusiasm for the show. It was canceled even though the last episode shot was the part of a two-part cliffhanger."

The obligatory online "save-the-show" campaign is now underway...

UNDER OATH

  • "All the dramatic heft of the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. But less skin. It should be popular with teenage boys."
    --Walter Hoffman

TELEVISION

...............

  • LAS VEGAS
    Working Title: "Casino Eye"
    (2003, NBC)
    Premiere: September 22, 2003
    Created by Gary Scott Thompson
    Writers: Gary Scott Thompson
    Directors: Michael Watkins
    Producer: Gary Scott Thompson
    Executive producer: Don Johnson
    Theme song: "A Little Less Conversation" performed by Elvis Presley
    Starring James Caan as "BIG ED" DELINE (Seasons 1-4)
    and Josh Duhamel as DANNY McCOY
    Also starring
    Vanessa Marcil as Samantha Jane
    Nikki Cox as Mary Connell
    Marsha Thomason as Nessa Holt
    Molly Sims as Delinda Deline
    James Lesure as Mike Cannon
    and Tom Selleck (Season 5)
    Guest stars:
    Cheryl Ladd, Paris Hilton, Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • Season One ...Buy this season on DVD
  • "Pilot" (September 22, 2003)
  • "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" (September 29, 2003)
  • "Donny, We Hardly Knew Ye" (October 6, 2003)
  • "Jokers and Fools" (October 13 , 2003)
  • "Groundhog Summer" (October 20, 2003)
  • "Semper Spy" (October 27 , 2003)
  • "Pros and Cons" (November 3, 2003)
  • "Luck Be a Lady" (November 17, 2003)
  • "Year of the Tiger" (December 1, 2003)
  • "Decks and Violence" (December 15, 2003)
  • "Blood and Sand" (January 5, 2004)
  • "Hellraisers and Heartbreakers" (January 12, 2004)
  • "The Night the Lights Went Out in Vegas" (January 26, 2004)
  • "Things That Go Jump in the Night" (February 2, 2004)
  • "Die Fast, Die Furious" (February 9, 2004)
  • "New Orleans" (February 16, 2004)
  • "You Can't Take It with You" (March 1, 2004)
  • "Nevada State" (March 15, 2004)
  • "Sons and Lovers" (March 22, 2004)
  • "The Strange Life of Bob" (April 19, 2004)
  • "Family Jewels" (April 26, 2004)
  • "The Big Bang" (May 10, 2004)
  • "Always Faithful" (May 17, 2004)

  • Season Two ...Buy this season on DVD
  • "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" (September 13, 2004)
  • "The Count of Montecito" (September 20, 2004)
  • "Blood Is Thicker" (September 27, 2004)
  • "Catch of the Day" (October 4, 2004)
  • "Good Run of Bad Luck" (October 11, 2004)
  • "Games People Play" (October 18, 2004)
  • "Montecito Lancers" (November 1, 2004)
  • "Two of a Kind" (November 8, 2004)
  • "Degas Away with It" (November 15, 2004)
  • "Silver Star" (November 29, 2004)
  • "My Beautiful Launderette" (December 6, 2004)
  • "When You Got to Go, You Got to Go" (January 3, 2005)
  • "Sperm Whales and Spearmint Rhinos" (January 10, 2005)
  • "The Lie Is Cast" (January 17, 2005)
  • "Whale of a Time" (January 24, 2005)
  • "Can You See What I See?" (February 7, 2005)
  • "Tainted Love" (February 14, 2005)
  • "To Protect and Serve Manicotti" (February 21, 2005)
  • "One Nation, Under Surveillance" (March 14, 2005)
  • "Hit Me!" (March 28, 2005)
  • "Hide and Sneak" (April 25, 2005)
  • "Letters, Lawyers and Loose Women" (May 2, 2005)
  • "Magic Carpet Fred" (May 9, 2005)
  • "Centennial" (May 23, 2005)

  • Season Three ...Buy this season on DVD
  • "Viva Las Vegas" (September 19, 2005)
  • "Fake the Money and Run" (September 26, 2005)
  • "Double Down, Triple Threat" (October 3, 2005)
  • "What Happened To Seymour Magoon?" (October 10, 2005)
  • "Big Ed De-cline" (October 17, 2005)
  • "The Real McCoy" (October 24, 2005)
  • "Everything Old Is You Again" (November 7, 2005)
  • "Bold, Beautiful, and Blue" (November 14, 2005)
  • "Mothwoman" (November 21, 2005)
  • "For Sail by Owner" (November 28, 2005)
  • "Down & Dirty" (December 5, 2005)
  • "Bait and Switch" (January 2006)
  • "The Bitch is Back" (January 9, 2006)
  • "And here's Mike with the Weather" (January 23, 2006)
  • "Urban Legends" (February 6, 2006)
  • "Coyote Ugly" (March 3, 2006)
  • "Lyle & Substance" (March 10, 2006)
  • "Like A Virgin" (March 17, 2006)
  • "Cash Springs Eternal" (March 31, 2006)
  • "All Quiet on the Montecito Front" (April 7, 2006)
  • "Chaos Theory" (April 28, 2006)
  • "Fidelity, Security, Delivery" (May 5, 2006)
  • "Father of the Bride" (May 12, 2006)

  • Season Four ...Buy this season on DVD
  • "Father of the Bride Redux" (October 27, 2006)
  • "Died in Plain Sight" (November 3, 2006)
  • "The Story of Owe" (November 10, 2006)
  • "History of Violins" (November 17, 2006)
  • "Delinda's Box" (December 1, 2006; two-hour episode)
  • "Meatball Montecito" (December 8, 2006)
  • "White Christmas" (December 15, 2006)
  • "Wines and Misdemeanors" (January 5, 2007)
  • "Fleeting Cheating Meeting" (January 12, 2007)
  • "Wagers of Sin" (January 19, 2007)
  • "The Chicken is Making My Back Hurt" (February 2, 2007)
  • "Pharaoh 'Nuff" (February 9, 2007)
  • "The Burning Bedouin" (February 16, 2007)
  • "Bare Chested in the Park" (February 23, 2007)
  • "Junk in the Trunk" (March 2, 2007)
  • "Heroes" (March 9, 2007)

  • Season Five ...Buy this season on DVD
  • "A Hero Ain't Nothing But A Sandwich" (September 28, 2007)
  • "Shrink Rap" (October 5, 2007)
  • "The Glass Is Always Cleaner" (October 12, 2007)
  • "Head Games" (October 19, 2007)
  • "Run, Cooper, Run" (October 26, 2007)
  • "When Life Gives You Lemon Bars" (October 26,2007)
  • "Adventures In The Skin Trade" (November 2, 2008)
  • "It's Not Easy Being Green" (November 9, 2008)
  • "My Uncle's a Gas" (November 16, 2008)
  • "The High Price of Gas" (November 30, 2008)
  • "A Cannon Carol" (December 7, 2008)
  • "I Could Eat a Horse" (January 4, 2008)
  • "3 Babes, 100 Guns & A Fat Chick" (January 11, 2008)
  • "Secrets, Lies and Lamaze" (January 18, 2008)
  • "Guess Who's Coming To Breakfast" (January 25, 2008)
  • "2 On 2" (February 1, 2008)
  • "Win, Place, Bingo" (February 8, 2008)
  • "Three Weddings and a Funeral, Part1" (February 15, 2008)

NOVELS

......

SOUNDTRACK

  • Las Vegas Soundtrack. . Buy this CD
    (2005, Image Entertainment)
    Includes cuts from Elvis (naturally), Tom Jones, The Pussycat Dolls, Micael Buble and Wayne Newton. At least we've been spared Céline.

RELATED LINKS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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