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TV Review: CBS' 'Vegas'

CBS premieres its new 1960s-era drama Vegas, starring Dennis Quaid as rancher-turned-sheriff Ralph Lamb and Michael Chiklis as a Chicago gangster, on Sept.  25 at 10 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

“CBS has made a lot of money with that kind of show, and will continue to. Most of them are well-made and entertaining, and the mystery portion of the Vegas pilot is up to that standard.”

Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

“I wouldn’t bet against [Dennis] Quaid’s relaxing into the role and turning in one of the more watchable performances of the new season, even if he is playing just another TV detective.”

Mike Hale, New York Times

“Too often, though, Vegas plays like a comic book, without much depth to its characters. While we want Quaid on our side, his perpetual scowl doesn’t, at least at first, humanize him much…On the upside, it’s nice to see CBS gamble on a show where the longer story arc feels at least as important as the case-of-the-week procedural elements.”

David Hinckley, New York Daily News

“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. Indeed, murder and mayhem notwithstanding, there’s a lot of comedy in it.”

Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

“The pilot has a strong sense of mood and place but not yet a really original voice. It could easily fall into cornball mob clichés on the one hand (we’ve seen too many lame attempts to do The Sopranos under broadcast TV limitations) or become mainly a cop procedural on the other.”

James Poniewozik, TIME