City Hall reality show gets approval from council

Las Vegas’ City Hall could be the setting for a new reality TV show after a vote Wednesday by the City Council.

The council voted 4-3 for an agreement that would allow behind-the-scenes access in City Hall to Discovery Studios to gather video for a promotional preview to pitch the show.

Council members Bob Coffin, Lois Tarkanian and Bob Beers voted against the proposal, citing concerns about lack of editorial control, costs to supervise producers and questions of whether the show would be getting access typically denied to citizens and news organizations.

Members who voted in favor said it would be an opportunity to promote the city to a broader audience and noted that, if the show is picked up, producers would pay the city $5,000 per episode.

“I have complete trust you are going to do a first-class show on the city of Las Vegas,” Mayor Pro Tem Stavros Anthony said.

Mike Masland of Discovery Studios said the idea is to produce a show that is a straightforward representation of life in Las Vegas.

“We’re not looking for that gotcha ridiculous character; that is not what the show is,” Masland said.

City employees would not be required to participate in the show, and if it isn’t picked up by a network, the agreement between the city and the company ends.

Coffin, however, said the potential risks of participation are greater than any potential rewards.

He pointed out that City Hall is already a public place and if producers wanted to do a show about it they could attend public meetings and use public facilities.

He foresaw potential problems should the production company gain access that’s denied to citizens and news organizations.

“You are going to get access … that is denied to the general public, denied to the media, the people who are legitimately covering us,” Coffin said. “I just don’t think how this can work without hurting this body.”

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0285. Follow him on Twitter @BenSpillman702.