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September 2, 2014

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Oscar Goodman to hold court at Las Vegas Hilton

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Steve Marcus

Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman takes the stage with a martini and showgirls before driver introductions in front of the Bellagio on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. The IZOD IndyCar World Championship race is at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

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  • Oscar Goodman, Gregory Popovich
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Oscar After Office

In an interview in his City Hall office for the Las Vegas Sun and the radio show "Kats With the Dish," Oscar Goodman tells John Katsilometes and Tricia McCrone of his three terms in office, his accomplishments, his former clients and the one goal he could never attain -- landing a major sports team for Las Vegas.

Oscar Goodman at CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand

Oscar Goodman at CSI: The Experience in MGM Grand on Oct. 10, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Oscar Goodman might well become the Elvis of judges.

The former mayor of Las Vegas and, before that, the brusque and stylish “Mob attorney,” is filming the pilot of his staged courtroom show at Las Vegas Hilton Theater on Nov. 18. The working title of the show is “Las Vegas Night Court With Oscar Goodman,” and the stage -- at least for the pilot -- is where Elvis Presley performed 837 consecutive sold-out shows from 1969 to 1976.

It is not yet known whether Goodman will toss monogrammed scarves to those seated in the courtroom. But there are to be showgirls, and martinis, sensibly placed on the set.

Initially, the idea was to showcase the Goodman-as-judge pilot at the Plaza, to be the site of Goodman’s own steakhouse and speakeasy. However, as Jonathan Jossel, an executive with Tamares Las Vegas Properties, which owns the Plaza, noted, talks fizzled after Goodman’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” party on Oct. 12. Not to suggest there is a connection between the fizzling of the talks and Goodman’s “CSI” party ...

Anyway, the Nov. 18 filming at the L.V. Hilton is not open to the public and restricted to invite-only casino guests and VIPs. Auditions for support performers, including dancers, are being held early in the week.

The concept of putting Goodman in front of the cameras as judge-and-jury of a Las Vegas courtroom show dates back about two years, during the latter stages of Goodman’s third term. He has partnered with Wayne Jefferies, the manager of the Harrison family, the omnipresent clan that is the centerpiece of the History Channel reality TV show “Pawn Stars.

Jefferies helped launch that Las Vegas-based cable show in the summer of 2009. He has subsequently partnered with Jerry Kupcinet, a three-time Emmy Award-winning producer and director who has helmed such shows as “20/20,” “That’s Incredible” and “Entertainment Tonight.”

Kupcinet worked on “Judge Joe Brown” and “Judge Judy” and in the TV industry is often credited with creating the template for the syndicated courtroom show. Goodman is shooting for syndication, in a way, as a syndicated version of the show would appear as an offshoot to a network airing in prime time, in the 7 to 9 p.m. slot.

Jefferies has said one of the major networks is interested, and after the pilot is shot the show will be shopped around to suitors at the networks and to venues in Vegas. The Hilton would certainly be interested in hosting the show, with a robed Goodman sharing a legacy with a caped King.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWithTheDish.

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