With a backdrop like the twinkling lights of Vegas, it’s no surprise that Hollywood has taken a liking to the city. From fictional dramas and action movies to reality TV, discover some of the most iconic TV shows and movies set in Las Vegas.
“Pawn Stars” follows the Harrison family, a group of men that own and operate the world famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. It first debuted in 2009 and continues to be a hit with history fanatics who love antiquing.
It’s no surprise that a show called “Sin City Diaries” was filmed in Vegas. This Las Vegas TV series had a brief stint on Cinemax in 2007 and gave audiences a blend of drama and romance as the main character, Angelica (Amber Smith), worked to make the high-roller guests at her hotel happy.
Hollywood hottie, Josh Duhamel, stars in this crime/drama series that aired from 2003-2008. “Las Vegas” follows the quintessential theme of Vegas: gambling. In the show, Duhamel and his co-star, James Caan, work on the surveillance team at the Montecito Casino & Hotel and find themselves quite busy as they try to keep the casino running smoothly.
“CSI” was one of the most iconic crime shows on television and it just so happens to be set in the heart of Vegas. With 15 seasons spanning across 2000-2015, you can binge watch this Las Vegas TV series and follow crime scene investigators as they solve murder mysteries throughout the city.
“GLOW” is a relatively new Netflix show (first aired in 2017) and makes it on the list of Las Vegas TV series because of its third season. “GLOW” is a comedy/drama show centered around women’s professional wrestling in the 1980s. While the first two seasons were filmed all around L.A., the third season brought the cast to none other than Vegas, where the original series was also filmed.
If “Pawn Stars” is your thing, “American Restoration” is the show for you. This “Pawn Stars” spin-off series premiered all the way back in 2010 and has since then followed the daily operations of Rick’s Restorations, a company owned and operated by Las Vegas area metal artist and antique restoration expert, Rick Dale.
Reality TV and tattoo artistry come to life in this Las Vegas TV series, “Bad Ink.” Filmed at Pussykat Tattoo off the Strip, this show follows tattoo artist and musician, Dirk Vermin (owner of Pussykat Tattoo), and his bandmate, Rob Ruckus, as they transform bad tattoos into ink masterpieces.
Learn all about the Las Vegas real estate jackpot and the house flipping industry with “Flip or Flop Vegas.” MMA fighter, Bristol Marunde, and his wife, Aubrey, have hosted this HGTV series since 2017 and continue to renovate homes all around the Las Vegas valley today.
Animal Planet doesn’t just have shows with animals as the stars. “Tanked” first debuted in 2011 and gave 15 seasons of aquarium-filled fun at the nation’s largest aquarium manufacturing company, Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) in Las Vegas. The owners of ATM, Brett Raymer and Wade King (brothers-in-law), worked with tons of celebrities, businesses, and more to create tanks as beautiful as the creatures within them.
“The Hangover” came out in 2009 and was filmed almost entirely in Vegas. The stars, Bradley Cooper (Phil), Ed Helms (Stew), and Zach Galifianakis (Allen) wake up after a bachelor party in Vegas with the bachelor missing and their memories of the night completely gone. Their quest to find him before the wedding is one you can’t help but laugh at.
Talk about murder, crime, and gambling in this 1995 film “Casino”. The iconic movie is set in Las Vegas and has some of Hollywood’s biggest names including: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci. The plot focuses on greed and deception that lead to a fight over a gambling empire and the attention of a beautiful socialite.
What’s one thing the original “Ocean’s Eleven” and the remake have in common? Beautiful actors. The 1960 crime/thriller stars some of the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Angie Dickinson) as accomplices attempting to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. In 2001, the movie was made into another blockbuster starring Matt Damon, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts. Follow along as Danny Ocean (Sinatra, and later, Clooney) and his accomplices try to pull off the biggest heist Vegas has ever seen.
Throw it all the way back to the 1960s for this movie in Vegas. “Viva Las Vegas” is focused on race car driver, Lucky Jackson (Elvis Presley), as he goes to Las Vegas to earn money to pay for a new engine for his motor car. Add in some romance with a girl named Rusty (Ann-Margret) and you end up with a classic film.
The name’s Bond, James Bond. “Diamonds Are Forever” is one of the oldest movies in the James Bond series. It involves a diamond smuggling investigation that takes James Bond (Sean Connery) to Las Vegas where he discovers a rich business tycoon with an evil plan.
For a movie experience unlike most, watch the cult classic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. Johnny Depp, an oddball journalist, takes a road trip to Vegas with his psychotic lawyer, Benicio Del Toro, with a suitcase full of drugs to cover a motorcycle race. The combination leads to bad choices and lots of fear in Las Vegas.
Enjoy seeing an extremely young Vince Vaughn in “Swingers”. The movie isn’t entirely filmed in Vegas, but does have scenes at the Stardust Hotel & Casino, as well as the Fremont Hotel. Vince Vaughn plays a struggling actor trying to get over his past relationship. With the help of his friend, he gains confidence and finds new romances.
“Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” is a hit amongst comedy lovers. The movie is set in Las Vegas for quite a few scenes where Austin (Mike Meyers) and his love interest (Elizabeth Hurley) start to fall in love as they try to defeat Dr. Evil.
Counting cards is the name of the game for this drama movie in Vegas. “21” is a fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to count cards and eventually took millions of dollars in winnings from Vegas casinos.
The Griswolds go on their fourth family vacation in this comedy movie set in Las Vegas. In “Vegas Vacation”, the Griswolds travel to Vegas and end up going through a series of funny events that make the trip feel like a survival mission rather than a relaxing vacay.
Sandra Bullock comes back again as the beloved Gracie Hart character in “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous”. Her job as a FBI agent takes her to Las Vegas, where she helps rescue Cheryl Frasier (Heather Burns) and Stan Fields (William Shatner) after they’ve been kidnapped.
That rounds out the list! As you sit down on the couch and prepare to watch these iconic shows and movies set in Las Vegas, start thinking about your next trip! Book your hotel room or suite at the D and vacation like a Hollywood celebrity!