In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS
In the UK: Acquired by Sky Atlantic HD
As you may recall, last year, everyone when 60s crazy. And by everyone, I mean NBC and ABC, with The Playboy Club and Pan Am. The Playboy Club was hampered essentially by budget and a script that tried so hard to fair to everyone and not be exploitative that not much interesting happened when Amber Heard wasn't around in a scarlet bunny outfit. Certainly nothing interesting happened when Eddie Cibrian was on-screen.
Pan Am, by contast, had no problems with budget or even its cast. Instead, it was hampered by a script that was tedious bollocks. Trans-atlantic flights are more interesting.
The accusation then was the networks were trying to cash in on the popularity of period cable show Mad Men. Maybe a bit, but given Mad Men first aired in 2007 and the networks had already tried series set in the 70s, 80s and 90s, it's a stretch to say it had to be because of a mad rush to ape Mad Men. But it was at least an attempt to emulate the tone of the quality period dramas of cable TV. Hell, even Starz is trying to do that with Magic City and it is a cable network.
But all those efforts failed, because fundamentally neither NBC nor ABC can make those kinds of shows. Fox? Don't even think about it. It's busily trying to be CBS.
Just as we all were starting to despair that no US broadcast network could actually make decent, quality dramas of any kind any more, let alone period dramas, along comes CBS - our last, best hope for quality - and saves the day with Vegas, written by Nicholas Pileggi of GoodFellas fame. Set in 1960s Las Vegas and based on a real story, it has a stellar movie-star cast that includes Dennis Quaid, Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix and Michael Chiklis (The Shield, Fantastic Four, No Ordinary Family), features some seamless attention to detail, a suitably complex bit of plotting and characterisation, and - because it's CBS - a bit of police procedure.
Oh yes, and it's got Jason O'Mara from Terra Nova. Can't have everything right, huh?
Here's a trailer and behind-the-scenes preview.