‘Vegas’ is likely to be canceled: Can it be saved?

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‘Vegas’ is likely to be canceled: Can it be saved?
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Pilot --VEGAS is a drama inspired by the true story of former Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a fourth …

"Vegas" is currently listed as "more likely to be canceled than renewed by May, 2013" on TV by the Numbers. There are many reasons why not enough people are tuning in, and part of that has to do it being a CBS program. There is a huge difference between a big budget show with an "enormous" audience, and a low budget show with an "enormous" audience. Those two definitions of "enormous" will likely be very different. Then there's the fine line between a big budget with a big enough audience to be worth growing and one that simply doesn't make enough money to be worth the cost.

According to TV by the Numbers, "Vegas" seems to lie somewhere in that middle ground. At the moment, it doesn't look like it's worth it for the the network, but they may decide to let the audience grow, especially if they see some improvement. Here are some of the pros and cons to renewing the series.

Con: One network's "outstanding" is another network's "meh"

Ratings for the Nov. 13 episode of "Vegas" show more than 10 million viewers with a 1.6/5 rating/share in the target viewers, ages 18 to 49. For CBS, those numbers are less than passable, especially considering the two shows leading into it. "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" each have much higher numbers. That same night, "NCIS" had over 17 million viewers, with a 3.1/9 rating/share in viewers ages 18 to 49.

For some networks, that would be a dream come true. For example, the CW gets between 2 and 4 million viewers for two of its top shows, "Supernatural" and "Arrow." Those shows have 1.0/2 and 1.3/4 rating/share in viewers 18 to 49, respectively. Those numbers would be beyond abysmal for any other network. They would have been canceled after just one episode on CBS with those numbers.

Pro: The actors are amazing

Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis are two of the most talented actors in Hollywood. Many of the other cast members -- including Jason O'Mara, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sarah Jones, and Taylor Handley -- are all worthy of being listed in that top category of talent, as well. They all effectively play off each other, creating a movie-like atmosphere in every episode.

Con: History according to "Vegas" is not a lesson in actual history

Some people have complained bitterly about the fact that the Sheriff Ralph Lamb, depicted by Dennis Quaid on "Vegas," is nothing like the real Lamb. This is always going to be a problem to some extent on any period TV show or movie. Unless it is a documentary, there will always be a level of creative license. The show just wouldn't be any good if Lamb was not somewhat likable, despite some people's hatred of the man.

Pro: History according to "Vegas" is fun to watch

Las Vegas used to have lots of wide open space and farmland. The Strip was much smaller than it is today. In fact, it has been continuously expanded over its many years. Even if "Vegas" does not get the geography exactly correct for the time, it's fun to look back at that combination of Las Vegas Strip plus cow-town.

Another fun thing to reminisce about is that cops used to do things much differently than the way they do things today. The rules weren't quite as clear, and cops were allowed to act in a way that would be considered improper today. They could just throw caution to the wind, and beat up a guy they knew was bad.

Vegas handles this old way of doing things much better than Jason O'Mara's previous show, "Life on Mars," had tried to do. It's simply more believable, despite the fact that they don't smoke on either of the shows. In real life, there was much more smoking in those days.

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