Viva Laughlin (partially found CBS musical TV series; 2007)
Viva Laughlin was a short-lived musical series that aired briefly on CBS in October 2007. The series was intended as a comedy-drama/mystery, and was an American adaptation of the British serial Blackpool. Despite 13 episodes being ordered by the network, only 2 were ever aired before the series was abruptly cancelled. Due to the series' obscurity and negative reception, only one full episode has resurfaced, with the rest being lost to time.
The show takes place in Laughlin, Nevada, and focuses on an entrepreneur named Ripley Holden (played by Lloyd Owen). Ripley attempts to open a casino but runs into financial problems, and is unable to receive assistance from his rival, Nicky Fontana (played by Hugh Jackman). Ripley soon ends up becoming one of many suspects in the murder of his former business partner, whose body was found at his casino.
The show's scenes were punctuated by contemporary musical numbers from the characters, featuring songs such as Blondie's "One Way or Another" and the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil". Notable people who worked on the show include co-creator Peter Bowker, who created the original Blackpool series, and Hugh Jackman, who both played Nicky Fontana and acted as one of the executive producers.
Reception and Status
Immediately after Viva Laughlin's premiere, it was universally panned by critics and viewers, with the New York Times claiming it was close to being "the worst show in the history of television". The show was heavily criticized for its poor writing and lackluster musical performances and is considered highly inferior to the UK series on which it was based. Reception was so poor that CBS cancelled the show after airing only two episodes, with some foreign networks cancelling it after just one.
At least 6 unaired episodes are known to have been made, but none of them have been leaked. Among the two episodes that did air, only the second episode currently exists on the internet, and even then, the only copy is of mediocre quality and contains many encoding glitches. Given that CBS has scrubbed all references to the show from their website and have not mentioned it since its cancellation, it is highly unlikely that the rest of the series will see any sort of release.
- Viva Laughlin's Wikipedia article on the series. Retrieved 24 Feb '17
- Futon Critic description of the series. Retrieved 24 Feb '17
- New York Times review of the first episode. Retrieved 24 Feb '17
- Newsday review of the series. Retrieved 24 Feb '17
- Chicago Tribune article on the show's cancellation. Retrieved 24 Feb '17