Two years ago, Rob Lowe quit The West Wing with dramatic flourish. Then his follow-up gig, 2003's The Lyon's Den, was swiftly canceled by NBC for low ratings. TV hasn't soured on Lowe, though. CBS has greenlit dr. vegas, an hourlong dramedy featuring Lowe as the in-house physician at a Las Vegas casino. Well, it's a funny premise, Sin City is a TV hotspot (CSI and Las Vegas are set there), and the cast includes Joey "Pants" Pantoliano. So what's not to like?
"Good! I'm glad you get it!" Lowe tells TV Guide Online, sounding relieved. "People are saying, 'I don't get it. Is he a serious doctor or is he comedy? What is it?' This is fun and different for me."
It isn't hard to grasp the allure this role holds for an actor of Lowe's high caliber and, well, considerable self-esteem. "I went to Sunrise Hospital in Vegas to research and I saw these critical-care doctors literally bring a baby back from death," he says. "Then, when you're done with that, man, the adrenaline is pumpin'. You hang that stethoscope up, and if you're single and into gambling... You're in Vegas! Sky's the limit!
"I was really interested in playing a guy like that," Lowe enthuses. "A stud f---in' doctor in the operating room — but when he leaves, he's an adrenaline junkie who takes the town for all it's worth."
Although Lowe's a producer on this series, he plans to leave the shot-calling to executive producer Jack Orman (ER). "On The Lyon's Den, I was so exhausted making that show," he admits. "I swore to myself I'd never do it again like that. I can't micromanage everything because I gotta be onscreen for such a large portion of the show. Here, I can sit back and trust it's in really good hands."
While Lowe doesn't mean to be the boss on dr. vegas, old habits die hard. "I found the theme song and picked it," he chuckles. "I told them, 'You don't understand. This is our theme song.' It's 'Get Yourself Connected' by Stereo MCs. I defy you to turn the TV channel on that song!"