CBS debuted its patently ludicrous new show Vegas last night, a 1960s-set sorta police drama starring Dennis Quaid as a rancher turned semi-reluctant sheriff and Michael Chiklis as a new mobster in town. Oh, and Carrie-Anne Moss plays an Assistant District Attorney. In Nevada. In 1960. Right. Anyway, the show is mostly ludicrous because, despite its Mad Men-on-the-cheap look and overarching gangster theme, it's really just a crime-solving procedural. Well, if the pilot is any indication, anyway. Basically Quaid ran around in the desert findin' clues to a girl's murder with his meaty, silent brother (Jason O'Mara) and his hot-doggin', lady-chasin' son Dixon (Taylor Handley) in your typical crime show fashion. Vegas should basically be called CSI: Old School. It's even set in the same city! With that in mind, we have some other ideas for old-timey versions of our most beloved crime shows. Here they are!
Law & Order: New Amsterdam
The Killing's Joel Kinnaman plays Peter Vos, a just-off-the-boat inspector investigating crimes in the old Dutch settlement in the era right before the British took over. He's partnered with a smart and beautiful young colonist named Sara Citroen (Brittany Snow), who knows the city, if we can call it that, like the back of her hand. The pair works with prosecutor Hans Meijer (Denis O'Hare) to bring nefarious murderers and rapists to justice. Just like the original versions of L&O, you've got a guest star every week, only this time they get to wear fun period costumes. Who killed the milkmaid and left her body behind the Stadthuys? Was it Henrik de Haan, the town crazy, or that bigwig at the Dutch West India Company who was always chasing after her? Inspector Vos and loyal partner Sara will solve the case and bring the perp to justice.
NCIS: Gay '40s
CBS' hit show hinges on the idea that a member of the Navy or Marine Corps is murdered every week. That's a lot of sailors! Where can you find so many sailors? Why just after WWII, of course, when America was flooded with young vets returning home, roaming the streets looking for "ladies" (we all know what happens in the Navy, boys) and toasting to victory. And all that partying leads to crime, including Naval murder. That's where Capt. Willie Briggs (Neal McDonough) and his team come in, among them hotshot war hero Dickie Del Monaco (Max Greenfield, once New Girl gets canceled), beautiful but mysterious lady investigator Polly McLain (Jaime King, once Hart of Dixie gets canceled), and goofy comic relief Wally Grabowski (Jay Baruchel). There's also an early-era forensics expert, the kooky proto-beatnik Corrie Carter (Amber Tamblyn), and the gruff and imposing section chief, Admiral Heath Stoneward (James Rebhorn). The boogie music blares and the Hudson Commodores roll by as this crack team seeks justice for sailors and seamen.
Cold Case: Coldest Case
Every time a frozen caveman or ancient nomad is found in some ice somewhere, beautiful paleontologist Lily Tempus (Poppy Montgomery) is brought in to find out how they died. So, OK, it's mostly lab work that takes months if not years, but there will be, like, reenactments or something? You know, to spice things up? Lily is joined by, of course, a competent crew of fellow investigators, like wise-cracking hipster Clark Ago (Dan Byrd), flinty eyed serious guy Royce Pendule (Eddie Cibrian), and sexy spitfire Carla Esfera (Dania Ramirez). The trail may have gone cold, way cold, but the team's passion for case solving still burns white-hot.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.