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Dick Wolf to Develop Las Vegas Period Drama “American Babylon”

Dick Wolf’ Wolf Films and Universal Television are developing drama “American Babylon,” the story of the rise of Las Vegas, with Robert Schenkkan and Bruce McKenna (“The Pacific”), who will executive produce with Wolf and Tom Thayer. The proposed series, which will be pitched to cable networks and the digital streamers, will tell the story of Las Vegas’ rise through the viewpoints of three families: young mobster Sammy Wise and his iron-willed wife, Esther; ambitious Black businessman Jefferson Delandro, his wife, Edda May, and their daughter, Bella, who fight the structural racism of the “Mississippi of the West”; and aspiring reporter Michael Arcona, who’s committed to finding the truth no matter the cost.

“American Babylon” is inspired by the nonfiction book “The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America” by Sally Denton and Roger Morris. The show will mix fictional characters with real-life figures including the Rat Pack, John F. Kennedy, Lena Horne and Howard Hughes.