Vega$ (TV Series 1978–1981) Poster

(1978–1981)

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The Coolest Show Around
Brian Washington22 April 2003
This had to be one of the coolest shows on television. The thing that really made it great was the pacing of the show and its mix of the old Las Vegas and what Vegas was becoming. The other thing that made this show what it was were the numerous cameos of some of the brightest stars that would appear in Vegas on a regular basis such as Dean Martin, Wayne Newton and other members of the Vegas elite. However, all the glitz and glamour would never have mattered if it wasn't for the late great Robert Urich who made this role his own.
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Vega$
P Adkins7 January 2002
I am very surprised that there are not several comments already on here about this show! Vega$ is one of the many, many, many Spelling Drama's. I don't know what it is with him, but the magic he makes when he creates a show is incredible! This particular show had most of what the rest of his hits & non-hit shows have...Style! Its simple, take a detective in Nevada, all the casinos, showgirls, the bad guys, & the late70's early 80's & you have Vega$. The show lacked in speed. It ran dry often. All & all though, it is a fun show. I look at it now & compare Vega$ to Vegas now. Anytime it airs give it a try. 1-10 (7)
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Calling All Dan Tana Fans..................
Sydney Myers2 October 2005
I loved this show! VEGAS was one of the coolest detective shows on television and I've been waiting for it to arrive on DVD. So, how come there are other less popular detective show being released while VEGAS seems to have fallen through the abyss??? This "hot" show had everything: suspense,drama,a really "hot" car, an even "hotter" P.I., (uh,detective), great stories, interesting guest stars, and even a great theme song. Oh, and did I already mention that Dan Tana was HOT? Robert Urich (God bless him) was great as Spenser (for hire) and also as officer Street (on SWAT), but he will probably be most remembered for his smart, sexy, charismatic role as private detective Dan Tana. O.K. guys....let's let the studio know that we're waiting............
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Vegas, I saw it being shot..
delattig3 January 2006
Funny story, I went to Vegas when I was 16 in 1980 and my Dad kept teasing my buddy and me we'd see Dan Tanna. We went by the "warehouse" where he lived and it was there alright, right behind the strip but instead of a bachelors pad with cool antiques and props there was an older contractor inside smoking a cigarette and cutting a board with a power saw. He said he owned the warehouse and leased it to the "TV Folks". I did see some props, like a jet ski that you'd see hanging on the garage wall when Tanna pulled in..it was nothing more than a painted jet ski on a paper thin piece of wood. There were plastic plants in the planters outside though complete with the Desert Inn sign..Anyway, we left and were heading down the strip. There I sat, slumped down in the back seat, dejected that I'd never see Dan...when low and behold and pickup truck with a guy operating a film camera passes us. I look out the window and up pulls ol'Dan in his flame red t-bird..white suit jacket and a nun in the passenger seat! I was going to a catholic high school at the time so I said it figured there would be a nun involved. My buddy and I start hollering for my Dad to pull over because the entire film crew pulled into a nearby parking lot. While my Mom ran to get film from a souvenir shop, we ran over to the T-Bird. There it was, the car of my dreams in all it's glory with an overheated engine. The production director told us not to get to close, but we looked over and Urich was talking with the "Nun" while holding a script. WOW. We were in hog heaven. I talked to the guys about the car for about half an hour and they told me all kinds of things about it, like there were two of em..One stock for up close shots and another that was for stunts..it had a big dodge engine in it, and a button on the shifter that would lock the back wheels, so they could screech around corners. The guys also pointed out the hub caps were bolted on with tiny screws because they kept flying off during chase scenes. They also told me it was originally a white 57 that had been painted a 1978 corvette red rather than the flame red that ford produced. The funniest part of the whole day was that Urich was trying to lay low and had taken off his white jacket and was wearing a green dress shirts with blue tennis shorts and sneakers..As he was standing in the shade, a dozen or so Asian tourist saw him and the car and ran over like a buffalo herd yelling.."Dan Tanna" Dan Tanna!!!" Urich was swamped and signing autographs..one of the tourist showed me a piece of paper Urich had signed and he had written.."Dan Tanna" instead of "Robert Urich"..Anyway, I was thrilled to see the car and some 18 years later I found the car(s)..but thats another story for another time.
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Note the dollar sign
ubercommando16 May 2004
Vega$...the show where P.I. Dan Tanna drives his car into his living room...Vega$...where Dan Tanna never runs after the bad guy, he walks after him (and still manages to catch up with them) ...Vega$... featuring Tony Curtis as the man who appears in the opening credits and precious little elsewhere in the show...Vega$...where a glitzy showbiz soundtrack and a montage of glittering casino shots actually masks a show about a fairly shabby P.I. surrounded by badly dressed guest stars. I think this show deserves repeating for it was totally unlike any detective show before or since; think CSI meets Magnum P.I. meets Night of a 1000 stars and you get close as to what this show was like.
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10/10
I Loved Robert Urich!!!!!!
edwinalarren12 June 2008
Robert Urich played Dan Tanna on this very popular 1970's -80's television show, "Vega$".. The whole show was pretty entertaining, however, Robert Urich was by far and away, the greatest part of the entire series!! I think that the character Robert Urich played was so smooth and assertive!! His superiority was very evident,and everyone around him was always yearning to be just like Dan Tanna; The great looking hot shot detective!! Robert Urich was SO!! Handsome!! I do not know any women who were my contemporaries who were not just totally in love with the Vega$ character, Dan Tanna (Robert Urich)!! He was such a hot and incredibly gorgeous stud!! I thought in the sitcom "Soap" Robert Urich was cute, but in "Vega$" he had to be one of the all time prime time television studs!! Robert Urich was spectacular in "Vega$" and he is the primary reason why I loved the show!! Wow!! Robert Urich was so great!! What an absolute and total hunk!! He was oone of the first all time television hunks and probably one of the best too!!
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10/10
Correction on the Correction
clubdisco197919 February 2007
To the person who commented last...he had one big thing on the series totally backwards. Naomi Steven's character was throughout the 1st season only, at the very end of the 1st season..Greg Morris became the main police friend/help character for the rest of the series and Naomi Stevens was gone after only 1 season...for the better too. Greg Morris appeared only once before his reg role and that was in the pilot episode.

This was def a great series all around. The first season was kinda silly and lame (but watchable). But as the 2nd season started, and major changes were made (in writing, production etc), by the show's final episode in late 1981, it should have had many seasons to go. But of course, like all quality TV...the masses only like crap, and Vega$ was everything but...so it was gone just as it was hitting its peak.

This series def deserves a true DVD release...stop releasing a zillion editions of garbage like "My So Called Life", "Friends" and all this reality TV garbage thats killed television and get this example of what once was quality prime time TV out there!
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Commentary on Robert Urich
raysond16 April 2002
Before I begin this commentary of the classic Aaron Spelling series,I wanted to point out that its star actor Robert Urich(who recently passed away of cancer on April 15,2002)who was in several detective/private eye series before premiering on this show which ran from four seasons on the ABC network(from 1978-1981),and to me this one stands out from all the rest. Hard hitting,fast paced with all of the lights,crooks,serial murderers,showgirls,and hard money with a lot of rockem sockem action. Also in this series were Antonio Fargas(aka Huggy Bear on another Aaron Spelling series "Starsky and Hutch")as Urich's right hand man,and also featured Greg Morris(aka Mission:Impossible) as Urich's boss. I like the first three seasons of the show,but when the show got to the fourth and final season,it completely dried up. Great premise and with such style! Urich however,hwo has a knack of solving crimes his own way,and always got the bad guy would reprise that role again in the 1980's with Spenser:For Hire which also starred Avery Brooks that also ran on the ABC network as well(from 1985-1991). Kudos to Robert Urich,one of the coolest,toughest detectives ever to grace the TV screen. He will be truly missed.
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Comment error and Vega$ vs. Spenser for Hire
wizardgmb5 March 2006
I just wanted to note a couple of errors in the comments by raysond and add a couple of comments of my own.

Antonio Fargas was a guest star on Vega$ but never had a recurring role in the show. Bart Braverman played Dan Tanna's sidekick Binzer for the run of the show. Greg Morris played the proverbial police force contact for Tanna rather than his boss. Morris left the show after the second season and Naomi Steven's role was expanded to fulfill Tanna's need for somebody who could get the bad guy's records and deliver backup at just the right time. Tony Curtis, as Philip Roth, was as close as Dan Tanna had to a boss. Since Tanna lived on the premises of Roth's hotel, he had first dibs on his services but Dan was very much his own man.

Poster raysond also suggests that Robert Urich subsequently reprised the Dan Tanna role in the Spenser for Hire television series. Vega$ was actually a reprise of the Dan Tanna character which had first appeared in Charlie's Angels. However, the only commonality between Vega$ and Spenser for Hire was Urich's tough guy personality. Both shows had their own very unique styles, having to do as much with the values and lifestyle of the lead character as with their vastly different locales. Vega$ was the product of David Mann who would go on to greater fame as the creator of Miami Vice, another show that was known as much for its back drops as its actors and scripts.

Spenser for Hire was based upon the Boston private investigator in a series of novels by author Robert Parker (Parker continues to write Spenser novels although the character is getting a bit old in the tooth:)). As much as Vega$ and Miami Vice were dependent upon their backdrops: locales, clothing and vehicles; Spenser for Hire was dependent upon character and dialog. This was due in part to the ongoing participation of Robert Parker who is known for very well crafted dialog. The show was as much about Spenser's relationship with sidekick Hawk and love interests Susan and Rita as it was about the cases he handled. Urich played Spenser in four TV movies several years after the series ended.

Urich was a good actor who could be depended upon to deliver a credible performance in whatever role he took on. He will never be mentioned in the same breath with a Jack Nicholson or Clint Eastwood but his presence on the small screen has certainly been missed.
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10/10
Vegas and Dan Tana
lfowden8429 January 2007
Used to watch the series on TV a long while ago.I have since visited Las Vegas and would love to see this series released on DVD. I have also bought through Amazon.com the VHS tape of the pilot movie.I have not watched it yet but am looking forward to it.I thought the drive- in garage into the living room was so "cool" but also unique.Only other car which did this was an episode of Everybody loves Raymond.Remember Doris Roberts expression when she realised she was in her son's living room?.Back to Vegas,I also always liked Robert Ulrich and enjoyed his acting in Spenser for Hire.Please " the power that be " release this ASAP. Ta very much. Millie
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7/10
Complete Style Over Substance But Awesome Nonetheless
gerard-2125 May 2012
Great, breezy show whose best feature is that it was filmed on location in fabulous Las Vegas. Created by Spelling-Goldberg productions in the same vein as its previous heavyweight crime series Starsky & Hutch and Charlie's Angels, it featured the same types of plots, music, action and parade of beautiful people and period heavies only now in a much more exciting locale!

Robert Urich was perfectly cast as private detective and Vietnam vet Dan Tanna, replete with a showgirl secretary, Beatrice and bumbling guy Friday, Binzer. Tony Curtis was really only present during the first season as casino owner Philip Roth, whose retainer to watch over his various Vegas hotel holdings basically allowed Dan to do a lot of pro-bono detective work. After appearing in the pilot, Greg Morris didn't join the regular cast as Lt. Dave Nelson until season 2 and then stayed through the series' end effectively replacing Tony Curtis' Roth as the authority figure in Dan's world. And no one could forget Tanna's amazing drive-in pad.

While there seemed to efforts to try and make Tanna a deeper character with complex emotions, we're talking seventies TV, so it was unfulfilled. Things had to be wrapped up with a neat, little bow in an hour with no time wasted on a character's personal struggles. Same thing with the plots which were great on the surface but rarely fully developed. But it was escapism at it's best given the setting and the setup.
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Michael Mann ("Miami Vice") should have produced this show
Cheyenne-Bodie1 September 2006
Michael Mann created a superb set-up for a private detective show with "Vegas", but Aaron Spelling and company didn't rise to the challenge. If Spelling had hired Mann to produce the show as well as create it, the result might have been greatness.

My choice for Dan Tanna would have been Sam Elliott, who started to get really interesting with "Lifeguard" and keeps getting better as he ages. (To me its a crime neither Sam Elliott or Brian Dennehy ever had a great series role. They were both made for series hero brilliance.) If Sam Elliott wasn't available, I would have looked at Roy Thinnes or Michael Parks.

Casino owner Philip Roth was just as interesting a character as Dan Tanna, maybe more interesting. The character reminded me a little of Blake Edwards' great Mr. Lucky, or his earlier incarnation Willie Dante. I would have had half the shows center on Philip Roth. My choice for Philip Roth would have been Frank Langella. If not Langella, maybe the extremely underrated John Saxon, who also got more interesting as he aged.

My choice for Dan Tanna's ex-show girl secretary would have been the great Sheree North, who improved anything she was in. If not Sheree, the lovely Julie Adams.

For Dan Tanna's friend on the force, I would have tried for Salome Jens or Colleen Dewhurst.

For Binzer, Dan's comic friend, I would have tried to get Cliff Gorman to do a variation on his brilliant Tony award winning Lenny Bruce performance. Or maybe Shelly Berman would have been even better.

My cast might have cost too much money, but I bet Michael Mann could have gotten most of them.

Mann would have also given the show a great noirish visual look, like he did with "Miami Vice" and "Crime Story". And he would have given it better music.

To me, "Vegas" was a big missed opportunity.
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10/10
love this show
akerikson25 October 2009
I was so happy to find this page. I have been looking for more information and interest in this show for a long time now I loved this show. I was looking for some prop information for some time from some people that knew the show well...and you sure seem to fit that bill. As you may remember ti was an antique oak roll top paymaster desk. I have been trying date this desk....I wonder if anyone can help me? Maybe a clue as to where to check to find more information about the props or who was responsible for procuring them. I am sure that from the comments i read you know all the details from the show because you are true fans.Thanks for your time.
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8/10
Glitz And Glamor
Mark Turner16 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
*The following review is about the release of the complete series on disc* You may be wondering why I've been highlighting TV series being released on disc lately. The fact is that CBS has been releasing a large number of complete series at affordable prices, even though that $100 or more price tag seems high. When purchased as individual seasons most series can get pretty expensive and take up a lot of room on your shelf. So these new editions are a welcome treat for collectors and fans of those series. This week…VEGA$.

VEGA$ was on TV fewer years than I remembered. In fact it only lasted three seasons. It was one of the many Aaron Spelling productions filled with great looking people, more often than not women, snazzy locations and filled with wealthy people. The situations found in this series didn't revolve around the mom and pops on vacation in Las Vegas but around the high rollers and celebrities there.

Robert Urich starred as the good looking private detective Dan Tanna. Employed by hotel magnate Phillip Roth (Tony Curtis) his job was to do anything Roth required of him. In return he was allowed to remodel a warehouse owned by Roth's Desert Inn Hotel to use as his apartment, complete with a garage that was in his living room. Driving a red '57 convertible Ford Thunderbird, Tanna looked cool, acted cool and took on any and all bad guys. And when there wasn't a job for Roth to be done, he took on other clients as well.

While Curtis only appeared in a few episodes at first and fewer later, there were plenty of guest stars on hand in this series. Each week another one had some problem for Tanna to take care of as well as several other guest stars either playing side characters or themselves as performers in town. The series also featured regulars in supporting roles including Phyllis Davis as an ex-showgirl and Tanna's right hand woman Beatrice, Judy Landers as a bubblehead second assistant and Bart Braverman as Binzer, a protégé of sorts for Tanna. On the police force Tanna counted on Bella Archer (Naomi Stevens) when he needed information and Lt. David Nelson (Greg Morris) when he needed bigger help.

So what made the show special? Mostly the locations and the gorgeous people on display here. Urich was a handsome man and destined for leading man status. Davis and Landers were easy on the eyes. The scantily clad showgirls were on display long before the movie SHOWGIRL and with more on than that movie offered.

The neon signs and flickering lights of Vegas began each episode. This was the sin city every mother warned her son about and every son flocked to. We never saw the underside of the town or where the normal folks like blackjack dealers or waitresses lived, those would be on display in episodes of COPS years later. No here we got to see the good looking side of Vegas where the high rollers swept in to be courted and played losing money in the process.

Looking back what is truly interesting is the fact that the series captured Vegas as it was at the time. Having been there a few year after the show had been canceled it had changed in only a short period of time. And if you were to go there today it would look nothing like it did at either of those times. Vegas is a non-stop changing town.

There was never anything too serious about the series, no life shattering world in danger type story. These were stories we'd grown used to and found comfort in when it came to mysteries and crime stories. They were stories that could be handled by a private eye and a few friends instead of the entire police force or military. Better than anything else is they were entertaining. It was the right combination of action, adventure, mystery and humor and it kept us coming back week after week but only for those three short years.

If you were a fan of the show you'll be glad to find this box set available. The entire series, including the pilot which I was told was not available in the separate first season box, is on hand and for less than $50. So if this was one you loved then make sure you pick up this set, you'll be happy to find it fits easily on your shelf.
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