weather icon Clear

‘Inside Vegas’ show won’t have the usual reality-TV shenanigans

Updated June 18, 2019 - 8:50 pm

It isn’t exactly Netflix using “House of Cards” to entice new viewers — back when people wanted to see Kevin Spacey in something other than prison — but the city of Las Vegas is turning to original programming in an attempt to promote its app.

The three-episode series “Inside Vegas,” a behind-the-scenes look at city government, debuts Thursday on GoVegas, where, among other things, residents can report odorous sewers.

You can fill in your own joke.

“Inside Vegas” isn’t a reality show in the traditional sense. Don’t expect to see, say, Michele Fiore saying catty things about Lois Tarkanian’s singing voice or Bob Coffin flinging a drink at Stavros Anthony. Mayor Carolyn Goodman almost certainly won’t be involved in any hair-pulling brawls.

It’s closer to a show about actual reality.

“I think we’re just trying to show really more of what it’s like to interact with the city,” says David Riggleman, the city’s communications director. “That’s what this is really all about.”

None of the three roughly 10-minute episodes was available to screen before Thursday’s debut. The whole thing is shrouded in the sort of secrecy usually reserved for episodes of the final season of “Game of Thrones.” But “Inside Vegas” sounds like the sort of thing that would feel right at home on KCLV, the city’s cable TV channel.

Starting July 1, that is where it also will be available, alongside meetings of the City Council and Planning Commission, as well as “Hello Mayor!” — the latter of which sounds like a wacky 1970s-style sitcom, isn’t, but really, really should be.

“One of the things that we often experience as city employees is that people see us as kind of nameless, faceless bureaucrats who are absolutely inflexible,” Riggleman says. “And I think what we’re trying to show is that, from the council level to the staff level, we’ve got a lot of really hardworking professionals who are trying to protect the community, but we want to be fair and reasonable in our approach.”

Each episode will seek to clarify a single issue — including short-term rental enforcement and a massage parlor suspected of prostitution — by following it over the course of several city commission meetings that might have spanned weeks or even months.

Not exactly the froth that viewers have come to expect from reality TV.

“What we’ve tried to do is boil all of that down into a short synopsis of how it was resolved,” Riggleman says. “You’ll see the problem (and) what the city did to deal with it. You’ll hear from the principals in the community that were involved and then how it was resolved in the end.”

By debuting on GoVegas, the episodes will be available to the growing number of locals who only stream their content.

“We want to be able to move with the technology as it moves,” Riggleman explains, “and still provide programming where people want to watch it.”

For viewers who don’t want to watch it on their phones, GoVegas is available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku.

Riggleman says he’s pursuing more originals for the app to help differentiate it from KCLV programming.

“This is a way of telling our story in a way that’s a little bit different and maybe a little bit more engaging to the community.”

Just not as different or engaging as viewers might expect after having been saturated with the backstabbing and blurred-out nudity of standard reality TV.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas might prosecute domestic violence without gun provision

The Las Vegas City Council will consider prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence cases under a new city code that would not ban those convicted of the crime from possessing firearms, in order to avoid having to hold jury trials for the offense.