Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 | 2 a.m.
Audiences love over-the-top, in-your-face reality television. And if that reality is framed by the Las Vegas skyline, all the better. Starring government employees, small-business owners, crooks, cops, corpses and celebrities (or celebrities in waiting), here are the reality TV shows based in the entertainment capital of the world:
Photo by Las Vegas Sun
Launched in July, the truTV show “Vegas Strip” is based on Metro Police officers patrolling Las Vegas Boulevard — particularly the Strip. TruTV’s website describes the series as “a never-before-seen look at the wildest street in the world. When you mix cops, party animals and a packed, sizzling Las Vegas Boulevard, the results can be explosive.” “Vegas Strip” is produced by Langley Productions, creators of the highly rated show “Cops” that aired on Fox during the 1990s.
“Las Vegas Jailhouse”
Filmed at the Clark County Detention Center, “Las Vegas Jailhouse” is a documentary television series that shows Metro officers handling the booking process of those arrested for various crimes. Another creation of Langley Productions, the series aired its third season this year. In addition to showing procedures at the detention center, officers on the show discuss their own lives and what led them to a career in law enforcement.
Photo by Justin M. Bowen
Gold & Silver Pawn on Las Vegas Boulevard became a household name after “Pawn Stars” debuted in July 2009 on the History Channel. The show’s success has led to a renovation of the 77-year-old storefront, a book deal, brand merchandise and a new agreement with the History Channel calling for 80 new episodes of haggling with customers over the value of their merchandise.
Photo by Steve Marcus
A spinoff from “Pawn Stars,” “American Restoration” follows Rick Dale and his crew at Rick’s Restorations as they take old, beat-up items and restore them to original condition. From antique slot machines to old-English-style lamps from the Monte Carlo casino that belong to Strip performer Lance Burton, every project presents unique challenges for Dale and his team to refurbish items flawlessly and on time.
/Courtesy Discovery Communications
Animal Planet’s six-part series “Tanked” focuses on Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, which specializes in custom-built aquariums. The show’s premiere in August featured the aquarium at the Mob Experience at the Tropicana, which contains two 32-inch flat-screen televisions submerged inside an exotic-fish tank and showing “The Godfather.” The themed aquarium is decorated with dynamite, Tommy guns and cement shoes. The dynamite inside the tank is connected to a plunger, which visitors can push down to set off an “explosion” — a blast of bubbles.
Animal Planet has renewed the show for another 10 episodes for spring 2012.
/Courtesy of DIY Network
It you’re at a local home improvement hardware store and someone offers to renovate your kitchen for free, it may not be a scam. “Kitchen Crashers” is the latest reality show in the “Crashers” series airing on DIY Network. Host Alison Victoria Gramenos moved to Las Vegas when she was 19 and studied interior architecture at UNLV. After working at luxury builder Christopher Homes, she founded a design company, Alison Victoria Interiors, and launched her furniture line, Alison Victoria Avenue Collection. Gramenos is the first woman to host a DIY “Crashers” show.
Photo by Aaron Thompson/Special to the Sun
Clark County Coroner’s Office
In September, the Clark County Commission approved a production deal between the medical examiner's office and Discovery Studios to explore stories behind the corpses that end up at the county coroner’s office. According to the Associated Press, county officials get to see rough cuts before the shows air and the county will get $5,000 dollars per episode.
E! Entertainment’s spinoff to “The Girls Next Door” follows Strip headliner and “Peepshow” star Holly Madison and her three pals — Josh Strickland, Angel Porrino and Laura Croft — on their Vegas adventures. Season 3 of “Holly’s World” was to begin filming in the fall but cameras have yet to roll.
“Real World Las Vegas”
MTV celebrated its 25th anniversary of “The Real World” this year with seven roommates sharing a high-roller’s suite at the Hard Rock Hotel. This was the second season of the program located in Las Vegas that focuses on a group of strangers living together for several months in a different city. In 2002, the Palms was home to the 12th season’s cast and crew. Las Vegas is one of only four cities to be reused as a season’s location. The others are New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans.