Sims And Scott discuss cast shakeups and the grueling work of bringing this show to life

Molly Sims' star began to shine with the role of Delinda Deline on the hit NBC show Las Vegas. As the daughter of Montecito Resort & Casino owner Ed Deline (James Caan), we have seen this show and it's crack surveillance team deal with all manner of visitors. Delinda has also rekindled an affair with Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel) who just happens to work with Delinda's no nonsense father. This show has recently been picked up for a Fifth Season and it was also announced that cast members Nikki Cox and James Caan are leaving the show.

On hand for a recent conference call was Molly Sims and Las Vegas executive producer/creator Gary Scott Thompson.

Gary, how would describe James Caan's departure?

Gary Scott Thompson: It's more on Jimmy's part. He wanted to do features again. TV's really tough. Eighty seven episodes is a long time to be away from a feature career, that's four years. He was itching to do a movie and he couldn't do them while we were shooting. He turned down a lot of features over the last four years. It's something we tried to make work but with the schedule of TV it's impossible.

What can viewers expect from the upcoming finale?

Gary Scott Thompson: (Laughs) I think NBC gave it all away in the promo. There's an explosion, Molly's character is pregnant, we've got a shooting, because the departure of a couple of the cast members was kind of a surprise and the season finale had already been written it's gonna be kind of challenging to get us out of the situation that I put us in.

Molly, what are your thoughts on the departure of James Caan and Nikki Cox (Mary Connell)?

Molly Sims: It's always hard when you've been with people for four years. Nikki's one of my best friends. Jimmy has been such a pleasure and such an amazing teacher in so many ways to be able to work with. I'm gonna miss them. That's the thing about our show we all really like one another. I think on most shows that's not always true. It came as a shock and surprise and I knew that Jimmy had turned down a lot of stuff, I just didn't think he was gonna go.

How do you think that might change the dynamic of the show?

Molly Sims: I think anytime somebody leaves and they bring new people in, it always changes the dynamic. Even when they brought Laura Flynn Boyle on it changed the dynamic. It's someone new, it's someone you're not used to working with, they bring a new energy. I don't believe in replacing the old with the new but I have to say, yeah, it'll be surprising.

Gary Scott Thompson: There's no way we can ever replace Jimmy Caan or Nikki Cox.

Is there any chance we could see Jimmy Caan come back to visit his grandchild on the show?

Gary Scott Thompson: Jimmy did say, "Look, I don't want to leave you in the lurch or anything. So why don't I come back from time to time? Per our schedules, lets figure it out." He was very excited about doing some sort of guest spot or guest spot episodes. Possibly the season opener we talked about. Maybe some other ones down the line. Again this is new, we got the pickup then we got word... I think it was gonna be easier for Jimmy if we didn't get picked up for Season Five. Then he wouldn't have had to say, "You know what? Count me out."

Is there any chance that Cheryl Ladd's (Jillian Deline) character is gonna come back?

Gary Scott Thompson: I spoke to Cheryl and she wants to come back. She just loves being on the show and loves everybody. She actually pitched that she is the new owner of the Montecito. I said, "I'll take that into consideration."

Molly, what's it like being the center on this show as opposed to playing just recurring roles on other shows?

Molly Sims: One, when you become a series a regular on a show, especially if you're on a good show and you trust your producers, and you trust your writers and your creators, there's a safe factor. You feel like you can do different things, like you can explore different things without a certain amount of pressure. Josh had just finished a film, I think it was the end of Season Four and we were both talking, and he was like "I'm so glad to come home. I'm so glad to be back." Being on our show we don't feel like there's a certain pressure and that makes us do our best acting.

Why is Nikki leaving the show?

Gary Scott Thompson: Nikki just got married and she has other things that she wanted to explore and try out. I can't speak for her personally in terms of what her plans are in her personal life... she comes from the sitcom world and I think she really wanted to go back and do some sitcoms and try some other things. I think that people don't understand that it's very difficult being on a show as long as this. Few of those people will make it past five or six years and even can hang around longer than that. Most of those are sitcoms which are really, really easy to shoot. Compared to a drama, they go and they do a table read, they have one rehearsal and then they shoot the thing.

When you're on a drama it is an eight day episode. Anywhere from twelve to eighteen hours a day, five days a week, for almost eleven months straight. During our First Season we were shooting eighteen and twenty hour days, and sometimes in our Second Season, too.

Molly, can you you talk about how it's been for you the past four years?

Molly Sims: It's been an awesome experience. You're not doing a three camera show, you're not going in for a readthrough and then leaving five hours later. My day starts at anywhere from 5:45am to 6:30am and you can still be there at eleven o'clock at night. It's definitely a grueling schedule. We have great producers who really try and work with us, especially when I'm asking to go to New York all the time to do different things. For me, who went from a reoccurring to a series regular we were just hoping to get picked up as midseason... I think any actor or actress will tell you that doing a show for five years on a network show, especially one as known as NBC, it's a pretty good mark. Even if I don't do anything else, or whatever, it's been something that I will always cherish.

The finale of Las Vegas airs Friday night March 9 at 9/8c on NBC.

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Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs