Vega$: The Iconic 70s TV Show That Defined Las Vegas Glamour

Vega$ is a television show that aired from 1978 to 1981, created by Michael Mann. It follows the life of Dan Tanna, a private investigator who works in Las Vegas. The show was known for its fast-paced action, intricate plotlines, and engaging characters.

The show’s main character, Dan Tanna, was played by Robert Urich. He was a former police officer turned private investigator who worked out of his car, a red 1957 Ford Thunderbird. The car became a symbol of the show and was often featured in promotional material.

red Thunderbird from the tv show Vegas

Vega$ was one of the first shows to be set in Las Vegas and showcased the city’s glitz and glamour. The show’s creators worked hard to ensure the city was accurately portrayed, and they often filmed on location. The show was known for its guest stars, including Frank Sinatra and Muhammad Ali.

Overview of Vega$

Plot and Characters

The show’s main character, Dan Tanna, was a former police officer turned private detective. He worked out of the fictional Desert Inn Hotel and Casino and often found himself embroiled in cases involving high-stakes gambling, organized crime, and celebrity scandals. Tanna was known for his flashy style, driving around in a red 1957 Ford Thunderbird and wearing a signature cowboy hat.

cast of the tv show vegas

Other notable characters included Beatrice Travis, Tanna’s secretary and confidante, and Lt. David Nelson, Tanna’s former colleague on the police force. The show also featured guest appearances by a number of famous actors and musicians, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Production and Reception

Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg produced Vega$, and the show’s theme song was composed by Tangerine Dream. The series was well-received by audiences and critics alike, and was known for its stylish visuals and engaging storylines.

Despite its popularity, Vega$ was canceled after three seasons due to high production costs. However, the show remains a cult classic and has been praised for portraying Las Vegas in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Impact of Vega$

Influence on Pop Culture

“Vega$” was one of the first television shows to focus on the glamorous and glitzy lifestyle of Las Vegas. The show’s portrayal of the city as a hub of gambling, nightlife, and entertainment helped to popularize the image of Las Vegas as a destination for fun and excitement. The show also featured a number of iconic characters and catchphrases that have become part of pop culture lexicon.

robert urich from the tv show vegas sitting on the beach


The legacy of “Vega$” can be seen in the numerous shows and movies that its success has inspired. The show’s creator, Michael Mann, went on to produce other successful shows like “Miami Vice” and “Crime Story,” which shared many of the same themes and motifs as “Vega$.” The show also helped launch several actors’ careers, including Robert Urich and Phyllis Davis.


“Vega$” has been remade several times since its original run in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 2012, CBS produced a pilot for a new version of the show, but it was not picked up for a full series. In 2021, it was announced that a new version of “Vega$” was being developed for the streaming service, Paramount+. The new series will be produced by the same team behind the hit show “Yellowstone.”