Viva Laughlin

Viva Laughlin
Viva Laughlin
Viva Laughlin.png
Viva Laughlin intertitle
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Peter Bowker
Bob Lowry
Written by Elizabeth Davis
Michael Gans
Bob Lowry
Richard Register
Directed by Matt Earl Beesley
Brian Dannelly
Tamra Davis
John Fortenberry
Don Kurt
Leslie Libman
John Peters
John Showalter
Starring Lloyd Owen
Mädchen Amick
Ellen Woglom
Carter Jenkins
Eric Winter
D.B. Woodside
Hugh Jackman
Melanie Griffith
P. J. Byrne
Theme music composer Trevor Morris
Composer(s) Patrick Milligan
John E. Nordstrom
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8 (6 unaired)
Executive producer(s) Peter Bowker
Hugh Jackman
Bob Lowry
Gabriele Muccino
John Palermo
Paul Telegdy
Producer(s) Don Kurt
Editor(s) Quincy Z. Gunderson
Keith Henderson
Hughes Winborne
Cinematography Paul M. Sommers
Running time 42 min
Original channel CBS
Original run October 18, 2007 (2007-10-18) – October 21, 2007 (2007-10-21)

Viva Laughlin is an American musicaldramedy series adapted by Bob Lowry and Peter Bowker (creator of the original series) from the popular BBC British serial, Blackpool. They also served as executive producers alongside Hugh Jackman, John Palermo, Paul Telegdy and Gabriele Muccino. The latter also directed the pilot.[1] 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.[2] Excerpts from the series were aired in subsequent previews throughout the CBS telecast of the 61st Annual Tony Awards on June 10, 2007.[3] 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.[4][5]

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[6][7] 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.[8][9]



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.[1]


Critical reception

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.

The opening line of The New York Times review said, "Viva Laughlin on CBS may well be the worst new show of the season, but is it the worst show in the history of television?"[10]

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..."[11]

International broadcasters

The following broadcasters purchased the series:

Country TV Network(s) Series Premiere Weekly Schedule
Australia Australia Nine Network 22 October 2007 Cancelled after first episode[6][7]
Canada Canada E! October 2007 Cancelled after second episode; was seen Sundays at 7PM ET
United Kingdom United Kingdom Virgin 1
Virgin 1:2007
Living: 2008
Virgin 1: To be announced
Living: TBA
United States United States CBS October 18, 2007 Cancelled after 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.

See also

  • 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
  • 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


  1. ^ a b "Viva Laughlin at The Futon Critic". Retrieved 2006-06-26. 
  2. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford (2007-05-14). "CBS picks up Bang, Power, plus four dramas". Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2007-07-18). "CBS announces premiere week lineup". Archived from the original on 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  5. ^ "CBS announces 2007-2008 primetime schedule". The Futon Critic. 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  6. ^ a b "Hugh Jackman's show Viva Laughlin dumped by Channel Nine". The Daily Telegraph. 2007-10-23.,21598,22634823-5012990,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-29. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Back from the dud". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  8. ^ Schneider, Michael (2007-10-22). "CBS cancels Viva Laughlin". Variety. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  9. ^ .,21598,22634823-5012990,00.html. [dead link]
  10. ^ Alessandro Stanley (2007-10-18). "Singing in the Casino? That's a Gamble". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  11. ^ Diane Werts (2007-10-18). "Review: CBS' Viva Laughlin a train wreck". Newsday. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20.,0,5351094.story. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 

External links

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