Vegas (1978 TV series)
Vegas (stylized as Vega$) was an American private detective crime drama television series that aired on ABC from April 25, 1978, to June 3, 1981. Vega$ was produced by Aaron Spelling, and created by Michael Mann. The series (with the exception of special episodes filmed in Hawaii and San Francisco) was filmed in its entirety in Las Vegas, Nevada.
|Created by||Michael Mann|
|Theme music composer||Dominic Frontiere|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||69 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Aaron Spelling|
Douglas S. Cramer
|Producer(s)||E. Duke Vincent|
|Running time||55 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Aaron Spelling Productions|
|Distributor||Metromedia Producers Corporation|
|Original release||April 25, 1978 –|
June 3, 1981
The show stars Robert Urich as private detective Dan Tanna, who drove to his assignments around the streets of Las Vegas in a red 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible, working for a wide variety of Las Vegas clients, the detective work included locating missing persons, helping solve crimes, solving casino scams, and making Las Vegas a safer place for residents and tourists alike.
Dan Tanna (Robert Urich) is a Las Vegas private detective whose many clients include Phillip Roth (Tony Curtis), aka "Slick," the owner of several hotel casinos including the Maxim Hotel Casino and the Desert Inn Hotel & Country Club in Las Vegas. Tanna is often called to help investigate criminal cases, locate missing people, or even in absurd situations such as the case of a nun, played by Cassie Yates, who has a claim deed that says she owns the land on which the Desert Inn Hotel Casino stands.
Tanna lives on the Las Vegas Strip next to Circus Circus Hotel/Casino, in the theatrical showroom props warehouse owned by the Desert Inn Hotel and Country Club. The large props warehouse where he lives has been partially converted into his living quarters. The unique design of Tanna's home allows him to park his red T-bird in his living room. Tanna also uses gadgets considered high-tech for the late 1970s, such as a car phone and an answering machine that physically picks his phone off the hook and into the microphone of a tape recorder.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Robert Urich as Dan Tanna
- Bart Braverman as Bobby 'Binzer' Borso
- Phyllis Davis as Beatrice Travis
- Greg Morris as Lt. David Nelson
- Naomi Stevens as Sgt. Bella Archer
- Tony Curtis as Phillip Roth
- Judy Landers as Angie Turner
Dan Tanna (Robert Urich) is a tough but also a smart and sensitive Las Vegas private detective. He tries to be thorough with his work, carefully tracking down the pieces needed to solve a variety of cases. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Tanna shows his combat past through flashbacks in various episodes.
Beatrice Travis (Phyllis Davis), Tanna's Girl Friday, is a single mom and former Las Vegas showgirl. She seems to be a widow, and though she and Tanna made a dashing couple, their relationship is apparently platonic, except for occasional friendly kisses.
Lt. David Nelson (Greg Morris) is with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, a no-nonsense officer who often has Tanna's back in his criminal cases and vice versa. While Nelson is never one to breach police protocol, he sometimes secretly assists Tanna in cases his force is prohibited from officially working on. In the first season of Vega$, Nelson has a more adversarial relationship with Tanna, but their friendship grows over the next two seasons.
Metro police sergeant Bella Archer (Naomi Stevens) also assists both Tanna and Nelson. She appeared more extensively in the first season.
Binzer (Bart Braverman), a Las Vegas part-time hotel pool boy who also does Tanna's leg work, and often provides comic relief. In the beginning of the series, Binzer is a petty thief who flees to Las Vegas to escape his former partners in crime back east, as described in one episode, where his real name is found to be Robert (Bobby) Borso. Tanna seems to take Binzer under his wing and uses his knowledge of the streets and his connections in the Vegas street scene.
Angie (Judy Landers) is Tanna's other assistant, who is a part time showgirl. Unlike the savvy Beatrice, Angie is sweet but also air-headed and occasionally gets case work mixed up. She does not appear in Vega$ after the first season.
Native American Harlon Twoleaf (Will Sampson) is Tanna's friend who served with him in the Vietnam War, and he appears in the first season.
Julie (Catherine Hickland) is Tanna's older sister, who appears in the Vega$ pilot.
- Melanie Griffith
- R.G. Armstrong
- Hermione Baddeley
- Priscilla Barnes
- Lynda Goodfriend
- Lorne Greene
- Lisa Hartman
- Ruta Lee
- Robert Mandan
- Maureen McCormick
- Heather Menzies
- Wayne Newton
- Leslie Nielsen
- Robert Reed
- Kyle Richards
- Pernell Roberts
- Tanya Roberts
- Isabel Sanford
- Dick Sargent
- Tori Spelling
- George Takei
- Joe E. Tata
- Lauren Tewes
- Bobby Van
- Dawn Wells
- Jill Whelan
- Jason Wingreen
- Shelley Winters
- Kim Basinger
- Christopher George
- Red Buttons
- Reed and McCormick portrayed a father and daughter in a season 1 episode, "The Pageant". The duo previously starred together on The Brady Bunch (1969-74), where Reed portrayed family patriarch Mike and McCormick eldest daughter Marcia.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||23||April 25, 1978||May 9, 1979|
|2||23||September 19, 1979||May 7, 1980|
|3||23||November 5, 1980||June 3, 1981|
In the season 3 premiere of Charlie's Angels titled "Angels in Vegas", Robert Urich does a cameo as his Vegas character Dan Tanna at the end of the episode. This episode aired the week before the Vegas series premiere.
CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all three seasons of Vegas on DVD in a Region 1 box set on May 2, 2017. In Region 4, Madman Entertainment has released the first season on DVD in Australia.
|DVD name||Ep #||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 4|
|The First Season, Volume 1||11||October 20, 2009||July 14, 2010|
|The First Season, Volume 2||12||February 9, 2010||September 27, 2010|
|The Second Season, Volume 1||11||December 7, 2010||TBA|
|The Second Season, Volume 2||12||March 29, 2011||TBA|
|The Third and Final Season, Volume 1||11||May 8, 2012||TBA|
|The Third and Final Season, Volume 2||12||August 14, 2012||TBA|