• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 25, 2012
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 25, 2012
    60
    The debut isn't disastrous by any means, it just doesn't crackle.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 25, 2012
    67
    Unlike other period dramas, notably AMC's "Mad Men" and Starz's "Magic City," Vegas doesn't cram the hour with topical references. Here, they're more subtle and jarring.
  3. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Sep 24, 2012
    75
    What Vegas lacks in the whodunit department it makes up for with the bigger narrative about a town up for grabs and the two men vying to get their hands on it.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    Vegas is likely to be successful simply because, at heart, it's a CBS crime procedural with cowboy threads.
  5. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    Sep 21, 2012
    83
    There's plenty to enjoy in this period drama. [28 Sep 2012, p.64]
  6. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Sep 25, 2012
    75
    Quaid and Chiklis will keep me watching for a while, but in the long run I'd like to see a more ambitious approach to the material.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Sep 24, 2012
    70
    It's not a perfect show, but to judge by its pilot, it has good bones and excellent prospects, with a cast that knows just how much fun it can have before it seems as if it is just having fun.
  8. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Sep 25, 2012
    80
    The new CBS cop drama Vegas--a cross between Gunsmoke, The Untouchables and a Sheriff Joe Arpaio reality show--is wildly entertaining.
  9. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 25, 2012
    40
    Chiklis is terrific. Too often, though, Vegas plays like a comic book, without much depth to its characters.
  10. 70
    Vegas isn't art and doesn't knock itself out pretending otherwise. But its no-fuss directness is appealing, and Quaid's ropy scowl keeps it centered.
  11. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Sep 24, 2012
    63
    Chiklis chews scenery--in a good, very good way--and Quaid is terrific, but both deserve far better than what they're given here.
  12. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Sep 21, 2012
    67
    CBS' sustained level of series craftsmanship is certainly admirable--their dramas all look sharp and function smoothly--but that doesn't go so far when even a sweeping period piece in a distinct locale with superior stars seems to roll off the same assembly line.
  13. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Nov 28, 2012
    88
    One of the fall's best new dramas. [26 Nov 2012, p.48]
  14. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 25, 2012
    60
    People who like their procedurals with punch--there's plenty of punching, not to mention kicking, in the pilot--might like CBS' period cop show just the way it is. But if I'm going to stay with Vegas, I'm going to need to be wooed a little.
  15. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Sep 25, 2012
    60
    Vegas has a lot of things going for it: star power, period ambience, and a compelling Vegas central conflict. But despite all that, the show doesn't feel like it's hit the jackpot.
  16. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    If Vegas goes the "Good Wife" route and focuses on characters and politics, it could develop into a worthwhile series.
  17. Reviewed by: Lesley Smith
    Sep 25, 2012
    40
    Some of this talent is visible in the premiere episode's poetic counterbalancing of empty landscapes and claustrophobic casino back-offices, and actors' convincing performances.... When it comes to plotting and scripting, though, Vegas is far less sure-footed.
  18. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Sep 25, 2012
    50
    Vegas is not embarrassing. But it is just a gussied-up procedural, which would be fine, if it weren't so blatantly aiming to be something more.
  19. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 24, 2012
    75
    Whether you see the seams or not, though, what matters is that it all works, and we'll keep watching, if only to see Quaid and Chiklis square off against each other week after week.
  20. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 20, 2012
    80
    CBS has managed to create a period piece without relying solely on that factor as the cool conceit.
  21. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    I'll keep watching, given the caliber of the cast and the solidly made pilot, and I'll hope that Vegas gives these actors more to do than standing over bodies and leveling shotguns at city slickers.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Sep 24, 2012
    60
    It's all just window dressing on a standard crime drama, however, and while the pilot sets up running story lines involving the gangster and the officials he controls, they feel squeezed and a little perfunctory.
  23. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    While the pilot didn't blow me away, there's enough in its premise (the mob comes to Las Vegas in the early '60s), its casting (Michael Chiklis as a gangster and Dennis Quaid as his sheriff adversary) and its seeming ambition that make me more interested in it than in most new shows this fall.
  24. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 25, 2012
    70
    It's a solid premise executed with the usual CBS professionalism.
  25. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    It has the makings of a damned fine weekly hour of good vs. evil, with Quaid against Chiklis as the crowd-pleasing main event.
  26. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 24, 2012
    88
    What you end up with may not have the makings of a great drama at the Homeland/Breaking Bad level--but it could produce an extremely entertaining, refreshingly hackney-free weekly procedural, with the crimes playing out against a background of interesting characters and flashy time-travel sets.
  27. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 25, 2012
    60
    Yet if the premise sets up a promising square-off of titans, the premiere retreats to a rather predictable, time-killing murder mystery, which serves to establish Lamb's new role, but also smacks more of CBS' stodgier procedurals than a character-driven drama.
  28. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Sep 21, 2012
    70
    The stage is thus set for an epic showdown between the dogged Lamb and Vincent, under whose calm facade lies a vicious shark of a man.
  29. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 14, 2012
    67
    A large supporting cast helps Vegas appear to be compelling and classy. And then CBS lapses into its old habit, as Lamb and company squander all this intriguing potential trying to solve their first of many cases.
  30. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Sep 25, 2012
    60
    Where the show stumbles a little is in the case itself.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Sep 27, 2012
    5
    Still on the fence. If this show is just another crime drama, then I will not be watching it. But if they turn it into a Boardwalk empire type deal, then it will soar. Time will tell. Full Review »
  2. Nov 17, 2012
    0
    I watched as far as the first five minutes of episode 2, where Ralph commandeers a broom to stop a random jewel thief on the street. That was some real high caliber writing there. Good job there cowboy! YEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!! Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2012
    9
    I enjoyed the pilot and I hope the rest of the episodes are as fast paced and action packed as the pilot and good actors as well pretty entertaining.One of the best crime dramas on tv for now besides The Mob Doctor. Full Review »