Harsh Reality

I’m a big fan of Discovery’s AMERICAN CASINO reality show… and one of the major “characters’ is Michael Tata, the nasty, back-stabbing, scheming 33-year-old vp of hotel operations at Green Valley Ranch Casino. Today, Variety reports that Tata was found dead in his home. Now there’s a twist the producers never imagined.

Tata was often shown feuding with hotel manager Ninya Perna as they sought to maintain the hotel’s high standards for VIP guests. Production of the series is ongoing, and the sixth of the 13-episode run will air Friday. Discovery wasn’t sure if or how it would pay tribute to Tata in an upcoming episode.

If Tata was murdered, and if this was a scripted TV show, Perna would be the obvious suspect, but my vote goes to the mousy exec Tata humiliated in a meeting by calling him “a human toilet who lets everybody shit on him.”

The staff of the Green Valley Ranch has hardly come off well in this series….the casino execs would have to be insane to participate in a second season of this show on their property, especially after this. But the big question is, if the ratings spike, will other reality shows knock-off their most-hated “characters?”

9 thoughts on “Harsh Reality”

  1. I think the most glaring omission American Casino makes — and since both of us have stayed there, I’m sure you’ll back me up — is how nice the beds are there. No matter that Tata sleeps with the fishes, or the Binions as the case may now be.

  2. For the record, to those of you who don’t know Tod, we were not sleeping together, though it sure sounds like it from that post.
    Tod is my brother, acclaimed novelist, author of LIVING DEAD GIRL. We were at the Green Valley Ranch for the Las Vegas Valley Book Festival a few years ago.
    And he’s right, the beds are great. But the walls are very, very thin. You can literally hear someone fart in the next room…and every word of their phone conversations… and every supersized orgasm from the porno films they are watching…
    The pool area is great, though…

  3. Oh, you can bet the ratings will take off with this current development. And to think I had just about had it with ‘Reality TV’.
    Lee wrote: “For the record, to those of you who don’t know Tod, we were not sleeping together, though it sure sounds like it from that post.”
    Ugh! Just so the ‘slasher’s’ don’t have a writing bonanza with it!

  4. Here’s the latest news from the Las Vegas Review Journal:
    The unexplained death of Green Valley Ranch executive Michael Tata has turned the reality show “American Casino” into a reality mystery.
    Friday’s seventh episode shed more light on what was happening in his life shortly before he was found dead at his Henderson home on July 6.
    Tata, the resort’s 33-year-old vice president of hotel operations, was shown telling a co-worker that his long-term relationship had just ended.
    In another segment, he talked about his feud with hotel manager Ninya Perna, saying that picking on her was “one of my favorite things.” Before the episode ended, however, he made peace with her, sort of, when he showed up to help her move out of her apartment.
    Because of his often-stormy relationship with Perna, Tata received a significant amount of mail from Discovery Channel viewers taking him to task, sources say.
    His death was acknowledged at the end of Friday’s episode with the words “In memory of Michael Tata.” His autopsy report could be made public this week.
    The investigation, sources say, included police interest in surveillance tapes at Green Valley Ranch the night before Tata’s death. Sources said Tata partied at the resort that night.
    The other ‘Casino’
    Rumors continue to fly that Mark Burnett’s unscripted drama “The Casino,” a ratings disappointment, might be in trouble.
    Dan Shumny, vice president of marketing at the Golden Nugget, said Fox has paid for all 13 episodes and has no plans to pre-empt any shows during the Olympics next month. They recently came up with a new schedule culminating on Aug. 29, the final day of the Athens Olympics, he said.
    Word has it that Nugget co-owners Tim Poster and Tom Breitling were concerned that the early episodes relied too heavily on the sexy subplots. Longtime staffers let it be known, I hear, that they didn’t like the way the Grand Dame of downtown properties was being portrayed.
    Remaining episodes will focus more on the casino operation, a la “American Casino,” and Tom-Tim angles.
    Most of the negative feedback I hear has to do with the staged feel of the show.


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