John J. MacShayne

Created by Michael Gleason

Kenny Rogers as a P.I.?

Some folks should really know when to fold 'em.

In 1994, NBC unleashed Kenny Rogers as Las Vegas casino head of security guy JOHN J. MacSHAYNE as part of the mixed bag of rejuvenated characters from the past and a few new ones to fill out the spaces in its rejuvenated 1994 Friday Mystery Movie schedule.

MacShayne, played by Rogers with all the shaggy charm he could muster, was an inveterate gambler whose bad luck streak seemed endless. So the casino's board of directors strikes a deal with MacShayne, whereby he can work off his rather large hotel bill by becoming a sort of troubleshooter, protecting the hotel and casino from "thieves and conmen."

Of course, who was going to protect the casino/hotel from MacShayne was another story. A compulsive gambler and con artist himself, recently out of jail after serving ninety days, ("the only man I know can get arrested for illegal gambling in a state where gambling's legal"), MacShayne has his work cut out for him.

Maybe the producers (and there were tons of them, including ol' Silverbeard himself) thought all those folks who watched the various Gambler teleflicks were tuning in for Rogers' thespian skills.

Still, Roger's charisma, and a moderately witty script could have gone a long way to saving the premier episode, Winner Takes All. But moderately witty scripts should last the whole show, not just the first half hour or so. The second film, The Final Roll of the Dice, was a little better, with Rogers taking over as head of security, but not better enough. They were all so busy trying to build a franchise, banking too much on Rogers roguish charm, that they forgot to make a movie.

TELEVISION

  • MacSHAYNE: WINNER TAKES ALL. . Buy this DVD
    (1994, NBC)
    Two-hour made-for-television movie
    Premiere: February 11, 1994
    Written by Michael Gleason
    Directed by E.W. Swackhamer
    Produced by Kelly Junkerman
    Supervising Producer: Larry Levinson
    Executive Producer: Michael Gleason
    Executive Executive Producers: Ken Kragen and Dean Hargrove
    A Larry Levinson Production, in association with Kenny Rogers Productions
    Starring Kenny Rogers as JOHN J. MacSHAYNE
    Also starring Ann Jillian, Barry Newman, Terry D'Quinn, Wendy Phillips, John Karler, J.A. Preston, Richard McGonagh

  • MacSHAYNE: THE FINAL ROLL OF THE DICE. . Buy this DVD
    (1994, NBC)
    Two-hour made-for-television movie
    Premiere: April 29,1994
    Written by Ernie Wallengren
    Directed by E.W. Swackhamer
    Produced by Kelly Junkerman
    Supervising Producer: Larry Levinson
    Executive Producer: Michael Gleason, Ken Kragen, Dean Hargrove
    A Larry Levinson Production, in association with Kenny Rogers Productions
    Starring Kenny Rogers as JOHN J. MacSHAYNE
    Also starring Maria Conchita Alonso, Wendy Phillips, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Scott Paulin, James Stephens, Michael Tucci, Michael McKean

RELATED LINKS

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Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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