Viva Laughlin intertitle
|Created by||Peter Bowker
|Written by||Elizabeth Davis
|Directed by||Matt Earl Beesley
P. J. Byrne
|Theme music composer||Trevor Morris|
John E. Nordstrom
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8 (6 unaired)|
|Executive producer(s)||Peter Bowker
|Editor(s)||Quincy Z. Gunderson
|Cinematography||Paul M. Sommers|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Original run||October 18 – October 21, 2007|
Viva Laughlin is an American musical comedy-drama series adapted by Bob Lowry and Peter Bowker (creator of the original series) from the popular BBC British serial, Blackpool, and taking its name from the latter program's sequel, Viva Blackpool. Lowry and Bowker also served as executive producers alongside Hugh Jackman, John Palermo, Paul Telegdy and Gabriele Muccino. The latter also directed the pilot. It was filmed on location in part at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California for most of the inside casino shots.
Produced by BBC Worldwide, CBS Paramount Network Television, Sony Pictures Television and Seed Productions, the series was greenlit and given a thirteen-episode order on May 14, 2007. Excerpts from the series were aired in subsequent previews throughout the CBS telecast of the 61st Annual Tony Awards on June 10, 2007. CBS aired a preview of the pilot on October 18, 2007 following an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation before broadcasting its official season premiere on October 21, 2007 in its regular timeslot on Sunday nights at 8:00/7:00c, following 60 Minutes.
CBS cancelled Viva Laughlin on October 22, 2007 after airing two episodes, with the Nine Network (in Jackman's home country of Australia) following suit the next day by canceling the show after airing only one episode. Both CBS and Nine filled the show's time slot with episodes of CSI, with The Amazing Race then taking Viva Laughlin's place on CBS on November 4. There are still no plans to air the remaining episodes.
Viva Laughlin is a mystery drama musical about businessman Ripley Holden, whose ambition is to run a casino in Laughlin, Nevada. It occasionally has the actors break into contemporary song. Ripley has invested all his money into opening a casino that is nowhere near completion, when his financing suddenly falls through. Needing an investor, Ripley approaches his rival, wealthy casino owner Nicky Fontana; but Fontana wants to own the casino himself, and Ripley turns down the deal. Ripley becomes embroiled in a murder investigation after the body of his ex-business partner is found at his casino.
- Lloyd Owen as Ripley Holden
- Mädchen Amick as Natalie Holden
- Ellen Woglom as Cheyenne Holden
- Carter Jenkins as Jack Holden
- Eric Winter as Peter Carlyle
- D.B. Woodside as Marcus Henckman
- Hugh Jackman as Nicky Fontana
- Melanie Griffith as Bunny Baxter
- P. J. Byrne as Jonesy
Critical reaction to the show was mostly negative. The musical numbers themselves were not criticized as much as the plot, the dialogue and the acting.
Newsday's review started with, "The stud is a dud. And that's only the first of a dozen problems with CBS' admirably ambitious but jaw-droppingly wrongheaded new musical/murder mystery/family drama Viva Laughlin. Let us count the ways it bombs..."
The following broadcasters purchased the series:
|Country||TV network(s)||Series premiere||Weekly schedule|
|Australia||Nine Network||22 October 2007||Cancelled after the first episode|
|Canada||E!||October 2007||Cancelled after the second episode; was seen Sundays at 7PM ET|
|United Kingdom||Virgin 1
|Virgin 1: 2007
|Virgin 1: Unknown
|United States||CBS||October 18, 2007||Cancelled after the second episode|
In pop culture
- A few days after the cancellation, a clip of Viva Laughlin was featured on The Soup. The show's host Joel McHale described it as "the show that was loved by hundreds". McHale also sarcastically remarked that "we need that" for easy jokes.
- Cop Rock - A poorly received 1990 ABC series which attempted to combine the genres of musical theater and police procedural
- Glee - A more successful television musical that debuted in 2009
- SMASH - Another television musical that debuted on NBC in 2012
- Hull High - A 1990 NBC "musical soap opera"
- Fame (1982 TV series) - Ran for 5 seasons, inspiration for Glee
- List of television series cancelled after one episode
- "Viva Laughlin at The Futon Critic". Retrieved 2006-06-26.
- Sullivan, Brian Ford (2007-05-14). "CBS picks up Bang, Power, plus four dramas". Retrieved 2007-06-26.
- "CBS to use The American Theatre Wing's 61st Annual Tony Awards" to showcase multiple promos for Viva Laughlin, a new drama premiering in the fall, executive produced by Tony Award and Emmy Award winner Hugh Jackman". The Futon Critic. 2007-06-07.
- Andreeva, Nellie (2007-07-18). "CBS announces premiere week lineup". Archived from the original on 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "CBS announces 2007-2008 primetime schedule". The Futon Critic. 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2007-06-26.
- "Hugh Jackman's show Viva Laughlin dumped by Channel Nine". The Daily Telegraph. 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
- "Back from the dud". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
- Schneider, Michael (2007-10-22). "CBS cancels Viva Laughlin". Variety. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- "Hugh Jackman's show Viva Laughlin dumped by Channel Nine". 2007-10-22.[dead link]
- Alessandro Stanley (2007-10-18). "Singing in the Casino? That's a Gamble". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
- Diane Werts (2007-10-18). "Review: CBS' Viva Laughlin a train wreck". Newsday. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2007-10-30.