Dennis Quaid-Michael Chiklis In Talks For Las Vegas Drama Pilot
After lengthy negotiations, Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis have closed deals to star in CBS’ untitled Ralph Lamb drama pilot, written by Goodfellas writer Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker and directed by James Mangold. In his TV series debut, Quaid will play the title role in the project, set in the 1960s and centered around the true story of Ralph Lamb (Quaid) – rodeo cowboy turned longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas- and Johnny Savino (Chiklis), a Chicago mob fixer whose entrepreneurial vision for transforming Las Vegas collides with the law-and-order mandate of Sheriff Lamb. In addition to starring, Quaid and Chiklis, both repped by WME, will serve as co-executive producers on the Ralph Lamb project, which is executive produced by Pileggi, Mangold, Walker, Cathy Konrad and Arthur Sarkissian. CBS TV Studios is producing.

On the TV side, feature actor Quaid has done a handful of TV movies, most recently playing Bill Clinton in HBO’s The Special Relationship, which earned him and Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. He will next be seen in the Sundance movie The Words, which is being distributed by CBS sibling CBS Films. Chiklis’ casting stems from the development/talent holding deal CBS signed with the the Emmy-winning Shield alum behind his casting in the network’s comedy pilot Vince Uncensored last season. His previous series gig was a starring role in the ABC drama No Ordinary Family. Chiklis is managed by Management 360.

Ralph Lamb was Clark County’s longest-serving and most famous sheriff who was in charge for two decades — from 1961 to 1979. Known as the cowboy sheriff as he was often seen riding his horse, Lamb modernized the department, brought in a modern crime lab, assembled the city’s first SWAT team and oversaw the merger of the Las Vegas and the county law enforcement agencies into the Metropolitan Police Department. But he was probably best known for his tough stance on the Mafia, which still controlled most of the casinos at the time. He famously roughed up Chicago mobster Johnny Rosselli in public and sent him to jail. After making bail, Rosselli’s was never head from again until his corpse was found floating in a 55-gallon oil drum off Miami 10 years later. The setting of the Ralph Lamb series is similar to Pileggi’s non-fiction book Casino, about the Mafia’s final glory days in Vegas in the 1970s. Pileggi co-wrote with Martin Scorsese the script for Scorsese’s feature adaptation of Casino, just like the two collaborated on Scorsese’s 1990 classic Goodfellas, based on Pileggi’s book Wiseguy.