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October 9, 2015

Viva Laughlin gets a quick cancellation

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 22nd 2007 3:45PM
Viv LaughlinWell, that was fast. After an avalanche of scathing reviews (including mine) and extremely low ratings, CBS has canceled the musical mystery drama Viva Laughlin after two episodes. According to the story on Variety's web site, the show will be replaced in its Sunday 8 PM timeslot by The Amazing Race starting November 4 (a CSI rerun will air in that slot next week). No word yet on if the remaining episodes will be shown on CBS' web site, or anywhere else for that matter.

I imagine what happened is that CBS took a look at the low ratings for the show's Thursday premiere (8.8 million viewers) and the even lower ratings for the first regular Sunday showing (a 1.2 rating and 3 share in th 18-49 demo, according to Variety), saw that the quality of the remaining episodes were not going to improve, and decided to bail out. Those are the two factors that usually lead to such quick cancellations, especially to shows that were as heavily-promoted as Laughlin was.

This has got to go down as one of the biggest disasters in network history, right up there with Emily's Reasons Why Not and The Will. Not only was this a remake of a popular BBC miniseries (Viva Blackpool), but it had Hugh Jackman's name attached to it as an executive producer. In addition, the Tiffany Network used this as one of the big examples of how their new fall shows were supposed to be edgier and attract more buzz than their returning shows (save for How I Met Your Mother and an occasional CSI episode). Unfortunately, the only buzz the network got was negative, as not even Cavemen and Big Shots got such universally awful reviews.

Still, two episodes over three days is an very quick hook. Do you think the show got a fair shake? Let me know in the poll below.

UPDATE: Yes, this means we'll be choosing the first winner (out of the 41 who chose Viva) in our TV Squad Cancellation Trifecta game and allowing you all to enter again to choose the second show to get the ax. Stay tuned!

Do you think CBS gave Viva Laughlin a fair chance?
No. Any new show needs time to get into a groove.301 (55.4%)
Yes. Viva Laughlin was painful to watch.242 (44.6%)

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Rona Philpott

I glad it is gone - I really tried to like it, both episodes. I live in area of Laughlin, promotion is always good - but this was embarrassing! The Riverside should also be embarassed by the silliness, and barely even being seen in it.

November 06 2007 at 8:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really liked the show. Good actors, good use of music and a murder mystery all in one. I was enjoying getting the clues and the red herrings.

October 31 2007 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Viva Laughlin was the best show on air compared to some of the shows they have. It didn't even get a chance. I heard before the first airing on tv that the show is going to go of the air. How can someone make a comment on national tv without having viewers watch it. I and my husband really enjoyed watching the show and couldn't wait til the next episode to come on. We are very disappointed. Hopefully some other network will contine broadcasting this show.

October 28 2007 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jesse Lewis

My DVR malfunctioned and I did not get to watch the 2nd episode. Though the musical part was a bit painful, I thought the show itself could have made it if they would take out the singing. I actually want to watch the 2nd one but cannot find it anywhere!

October 28 2007 at 2:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chadwick hansford

I saw the pilot. When it was over I felt dirty. This show was over advertised for no reason. Bad acting and it was kind of gay.

October 24 2007 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched it both nights also because I like shows in casino settings. But the writing so far was pretty bad. The story was really uninteresting, I thought,and the musical aspect just kind of left me with my mouth hanging open. Still, I'd rather say I gave it a shot but really when the cable networks are putting out quality shows like Damages, Saving Grace and Burn Notice, you have to wonder if whoever green-lighted this still has their job.

October 23 2007 at 4:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Viva Laughlin gets a quick cancellation"

NOT QUICK ENOUGH - I saw an episode. I'm all for new and different, but this was the worst show I've ever seen. I feel bad for Hugh Jackman.

Gawd it was awful. I can't believe all the promotion they put into it. Didn't anyone at CBS watch it first?

October 23 2007 at 2:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

According to dates from multiple sources Nashville was cancelled by Fox. And it seems dating earlier than Viva Laughlin's announcement. Is there a way to confirm this data before finishing the Cancellation Contest and Drawing?

October 23 2007 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Big John

I didn't watch it because I don't like the town of Laughlin, NV.

However, had I given it a chance I'd say that I like Llloyd Owen ('MotG') and Madchen Amick (attached to another non-starter, see 'Fantasy Island' remake). I liked 'Viva Blackpool' and maybe the big 4 USA nets would stand a better chance with just syndicating BBC shows instead of remaking them.

October 23 2007 at 12:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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