Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NBC's Las Vegas Turns to Tom Selleck to Replace James Caan

NBC's television show Las Vegas is looking for a new owner for its Montecito hotel and a big-name actor to replace the big shoes of departing Montecito President Ed Deline (played by the great James Caan) as this year's season finale was Caan's last as a cast regular. And according to the Hollywood Reporter, they may have found their man in Magnum PI himself, Tom Selleck.

When I first wrote a blog entry on the season finale of Las Vegas back in March, I speculated on the future of the show since it was announced that both Nikki Cox and James Caan were leaving the show and would not be in the show's upcoming fifth season. I wrote then (and still believe now) that Caan's character was the heart of the show, and really grounded what could otherwise be a very immature and outrageous show, and I wasn't sure how the show would be able to replace him. After all, they tried an "evil/misunderstood/controlling owner" before with Lara Flynn Boyle but her character was a flop and was eventually killed off. But, not willing to make the same mistake twice, the Hollywood Reporter reports a big name is in talks to take over for Caan.

Emmy winner Tom Selleck is in discussions to join NBC's "Las Vegas" as the fast-paced drama's new leading man.

He would play the smart, powerful, fun-loving new owner of Montecito Resort & Casino, a new character designed to fill the void left by the recent departure of the show's star James Caan.

Selleck is a perfect choice and I think has the chance to save the show from itself in Caan's absence. And I'm not just saying that because Selleck always wore a Detroit Tigers hat on Magnum P.I. While Selleck has not had a regular TV role since Magnum, his appearances on Friends and Boston Legal have been great. Despite only being a guest star on both shows, his character(s) were incredibly memorable and enjoyable.

What was great about Caan's character on Las Vegas was that he had the authority, just from being James Caan, that he could always bring the rest of the younger cast in line. While Selleck's character would undoubtedly be much different than Caan's, he brings that same gravitas that would force the audience (and the other characters on the show) to take notice, and it would add a very interesting dynamic to the show.

Las Vegas needed an acting giant to take over for James Caan for the show to retain its credibility, and if they do cast Selleck as the Hollywood Reporter insinuates they will, it will be a giant step forward. All I ask is that he brings the Detroit Tigers hat back, at least for one episode.

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