By Robin Leach
Las Vegas Sun
Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 | 4:51 p.m.
Executives at CNBC have decided that their controversial reality-TV series “Money Talks” will premiere March 19, and all eight episodes will feature self-described Las Vegas bookie killer Steve Stevens. The revealing look inside the high-stakes world of sports betting shows that it’s built on high emotions, risk and rewards.
Steve, head of VIP Sports, also calls himself the Michael Jordan of sports handicapping and maintains that his picks are correct more than 60 percent of the time. After a winter-preview screening of the show, network officials received such a pro-and-con shock reaction that they agreed the entire show would focus on gambling in Las Vegas through Steve’s company.
Each episode will be one hour, and cameras follow the bookie and his agents selling their picks to big-time whales and gamblers with big bankrolls and even bigger expectations.
“Our goal at CNBC is to bring viewers intimate looks at all sorts of businesses. And the world of gambling, for the most part, has not been seen on reality television,” said Jim Ackerman, SVP of primetime alternative programming. “It’s an exciting world with colorful characters and major stakes. And even in a city like Vegas, Steve Stevens stands out as one of the biggest and most dynamic characters you will meet.”
The show also follows the big-time bookie’s personal life with his given name, Darin Notaro, as he tries to build a more traditional life with girlfriend Kelly, her two children and their baby boy. He admits on camera to years of overindulging in a fast-paced Las Vegas lifestyle with two short stints in prison. The show will broadcast to more than 395 million homes worldwide, with 100 million in the U.S. and Canada.