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Cowboys and Gangsters: Konrad Hits Network Television with 60s Procedural 'Vegas,' Starring Dennis Quaid

by Anne Thompson
September 25, 2012 2:46 PM
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Jason O'Mara and Dennis Quaid in 'Vegas'
Jason O'Mara and Dennis Quaid in 'Vegas'

CBS was willing to bank good money (about an average of $3.5 million per episode) on shooting on ranches and locations around Ventura and Granada Hills and building a $1.8 million replica of 60s Fremont Street at Santa Clarita Studios, complete with a casino, jail and sheriff’s office.

Thus Konrad got to learn the TV ropes--and go home at night to her husband and 7 1/2 and 4 1/2-year-olds. "I had no idea the machine that is TV," she says, "from the day the flag goes down to prep the first show. The pace is unrelenting." CBS ordered 13 episodes; as we spoke several weeks ago the pilot was done, two episodes were in post and a fifth was in prep: "You shoot these 55-page scripts in eight days. One page is a good day's work in the feature business. Here you shoot 10 to 12 pages a day, 40 set-ups, five different locations. The challenge is to make it beautiful, and not fall into conventions--master, medium shot-- boring."

Konrad works with Walker and seven writers and brings in directors to shoot the episodes, such as old film collaborator Gary Fleder ("Things To Do in Denver When You're Dead"). Assuming the series succeeds, there's room to grow the story as Vegas develops through the 60s and 70s. Lamb was around for over 30 years and provides useful detail--from car wheels and fenders to how arrests were made back in the day. Lamb reminds Konrad of Johnny Cash, who she got to know making "Walk the Line." "There are so few of these characters left," she sighs.

And the producer is moving full throttle into more television: she's putting together a cable series based on venerable Miramax title "Copland," as a 70s New York/New Jersey cop show packed with the politics and mob dynamics of the period.

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More: Television, Interviews


  • ann | October 1, 2012 2:13 AMReply

    thanks this

  • Corbyn | September 27, 2012 2:47 PMReply

    Vegas is a great show. Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis are both fantastic actors and it will be great to see them starring opposite each other in this series. This show has the potential to be really great with the material it has to work from. Many people probably don’t know that this TV show came from a movie that never happened. I’ve already got my Hopper set to record the show each week and even my girlfriend likes this show. I try not to be overly critical of pilots and new shows. I’ve come to discover that it’s rare for a pilot to get everything perfect the first time and that it’s unrealistic to expect it to do so. My DISH co-workers agree that this show is a good bet if you want a new kind of crime drama to watch. Personally, I’m ready to try something new.

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