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Court TV, CMT Bet on Gambling Series

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Court TV and Country Music Television are betting that casino gaming will remain a hot programming genre as both networks announced new gambling-based reality series.

Court TV announced Thursday at the Television Critics Association tour here that it will roll the dice on two casino-based shows.

A Dec. 8 special, Al Roker Investigates: Kids, Cards and Dice, explores the culture of betting among high-school and college-age kids. The one-hour show will talk to students, parents and gambling experts about the growing phenomenon, according to Court TV officials.

The network will also air The Takedown, a reality series in which con artist Paul Wilson looks to beat casinos and hustlers through high-tech gadgets and skill.

Also at the TCA Tour, Viacom Inc.-owned CMT said it will bow in October Man vs. Vegas, an eight-part reality series in which an ambitious high roller returns to Las Vegas several years after gambling away $3 million, according to network officials.

Armed with $1 million, gambler Daren Leverenz attempts to regain his lost money while helping other amateur gamblers win in “Sin City.”

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.