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April 19, 2014

Viva Laughlin

Working Title Films That Would (And Wouldn't) Work on the Small Screen

by Aimee Deeken, posted Apr 1st 2010 8:00AM
Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones's DiaryThanks to the launch of Working Title Television (WTTV) last month, NBC Universal will glean a few TV-show ideas from movies created by its subsidiary Working Title Films. The UK production company is behind such Oscar crushes as 'Atonement,' Frost/Nixon' and 'A Serious Man,' and fan-faves 'Nanny McPhee,' 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' and 'Pride & Prejudice.'

NBC Universal (which could use some fresh programming following the prime-time Leno debacle) will distribute WTTV content, starting with the comedy 'Love Bites' -- a "romantic anthology" reminiscent of Working Title Films' 'Love Actually' -- starring Jordana Spiro ('My Boys') and 'Ugly Betty's' Becki Newton. Execs in the joint venture announced last month they will also adapt the 'Bridget Jones' franchise for the small screen.

Having looked at the rest of Working Title's 100-plus film repertoire, we've got some thoughts of our own on three movies that would make good episodic programming -- and two that wouldn't.

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Worst TV Shows of the 2000s (30-21)

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 11th 2009 6:00AM

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Does the computerized music in Glee bug you?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 17th 2009 6:00PM
Amber Riley in GleeIn my review of last night's Glee, I praised Amber Riley's voice, noting that it sounded like a combo of Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna when her character Mercedes sang about busting the windows out of Kurt's car. Commenter "czaravm" noted that after about 30 seconds, the computerized music kicked in, giving it a canned sound. I was pretty mesmerized by Riley's voice and the way she was workin' that body, so I didn't really notice it.

Does this sort of canned music bother you? Is it enough to make you stop watching Glee? Based on the comments on my review post, it sounds like some of you are disappointed with how the show is going.

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Are you ready for a singing and dancing Hugh Jackman on Oscar night? - VIDEO

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 12th 2008 5:05PM
hugh jackman oscars wolverine x-menAt the very least, this sounds more promising than an awards show hosted by reality TV stars.

Hugh Jackman, probably the only Tony Award-winner to be named People's "Sexiest Man Alive," will host this year's Academy Awards ceremony. Yep, it's an odd pick. The last few Oscar night hosts have been comedians (Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock), but something tells me this broadcast will be the funniest in years.

Why? Because Hugh Jackman likes to sing. And dance. And he usually looks pretty silly when he does those things at the same time, like in that episode of Viva Laughlin.

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Mdchen Amick joins My Own Worst Enemy - VIDEO

by Brett Love, posted Aug 15th 2008 8:38AM

Mdchen Amick - My Own Worst EnemySome day I should probably type up an official list of the actresses who, by their mere presence, will guarantee I'll watch a series. The fact that I saw every episode of Freddie should serve as proof that Mädchen Amick is on that list. After following that up with Viva Laughlin, I think we can all agree that this latest role has her career moving in the generally upwards direction.

My Own Worst Enemy was already on my short list of new shows to keep an eye on in the fall. It's an interesting premise, has Christian Slater, and the previews look great. The addition of Amick just makes it that much more intriguing. She'll be taking over the role of Henry's wife that was originally played by Yara Martinez (The Unit). It's a bit of rough luck for Martinez. Before this she was set to appear in that ill-fated Spaced remake.

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Tricia Helfer is Inseparable from our televisions

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 25th 2008 5:42PM
Tricia HelferRemember when FOX signed that holding deal for Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer? Well, now they're using it. The former model, best known as every fanboy's synthetic fantasy via her portrayal of sympathetic Cylon "Number 6" on Sci Fi's reimagined Battlestar Galactica, Tricia Helfer has been cast in FOX's Inseparable. As it turns out she won't be playing a hot figment of anyone's imagination, though that would be a good use for the title.

Instead, she's been cast as a psychiatrist who works for the police department. How that will relate to Lloyd Owen's split personality hero/villain lead hasn't been made clear, but I'm guessing she'll be his psychiatrist. Would she find it weird that all of her male patients would only want to talk about their sexual fantasies with her?

"Here let me show you what I'm talking about, doctor. Why don't you get down on your knees and face me ... What do you mean that wouldn't be professional? I want to know what these yearnings mean. And can you undo that top button."

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The Good Riddance Award nominees

by Brett Love, posted May 27th 2008 2:20PM

Tv Squad AwardsAlright, here we go. The readers, and team TV Squad, have spoken. It's almost a little depressing that there were so many shows that received consideration for the award. Clearly, this wasn't a banner year for the networks. But that's good though. With all of those shows sent packing, there's that much more room on the schedule next season. Here's hoping all that valuable space gets put to good use, and that someone learns from the following examples. After the jump, the nominees, and your chance to vote for the TV Squad reader award.

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The Good Riddance Award: Call for considerations

by Brett Love, posted May 20th 2008 1:02PM

tv squad awardsEvery year at this time there are a few shows that take the cancellation bullet, much to the dismay of fans. There are petitions, mass mailings, and declarations of never watching that network again. On the other hand ... every year there are also those shows that meet the TV reaper that really had it coming. We've had enough of their bad TV and we're not going to take it anymore.

The good riddance award is for those shows. Not only will you not miss them, you'll gladly cheer as the funeral procession passes you by. There is no shortage of contenders as we rap up the '07/'08 season. The first to ping my radar included Next Great American Band. Good grief, so much was wrong about that show. And while we're looking at that ill-fated Fox Friday, let's throw Nashville on the pile as well. CBS has a couple contenders in Secret Talents of the Stars and Viva Laughlin. How do you screw up getting frickin' Wolverine on your network? Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't offer a tip of the cap to ABC and the Cavemen as well. Those are just a few from my perspective. Add your contenders in the comments and we'll boil it all down to a really great list, of really bad TV.

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The Best and Worst of 2007: Joel's list

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 5th 2008 12:02PM
Viva LaughlinTo call 2007 a stellar year of TV would be a mistake, because it was a very bleh year in many respects. Shows that had previously riveted us to our seats made missteps and mistakes. New shows were either mediocre or just unmemorable. A writers' strike made people anxious and depressed all at once. And the aspects of the TV world that have generated low expectations continued on their merry lowbrow way (I mean, who expected Tila Tequila's search for love to be anything but a skankfest)?

But in a year of abject mediocrity, some highlights and lowlights poked through. Like last year, I'm going to make up categories instead of doing traditional "Bests" and "Worsts." It hurts my brain less...

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The Best and Worst of 2007: Bob's list - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 3rd 2008 10:04AM

Mad Men

Wow, another year has gone by. I just started getting used to writing "2007" on my checks last week and here we are in 2008. Happy New Year everyone! And don't tase me, bro!

I think this was actually a really good year for television, even if it does look like it's going to a short season. I think the best of the year and the worst of the year really stand out. Here's my list below. I'm sure you have your own opinions.

Best

1. Mad Men (AMC): Simply put, there was no better drama this past season (sorry Sopranos). This isn't just "great television," it might just change what the networks might put on in the next few years. It drops us into a world (in this case, a top ad agency in 1960 New York City) in a way very few shows are able to do. It has a flawless cast, intelligent writing, and a jawdropping, orgasmic production design. With this, AMC might just become the new HBO (they passed on this show but put on John From Cincinnati - ahem). Great to see it get a second season and a bunch of Golden Globe/SAG Award nominations. (And here's why Jon Hamm deserves a Golden Globe and an Emmy.)


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On the 5th day of Festivus, TV gave to me...

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 15th 2007 5:20PM

Jericho logo... Five canceled shows.

Isn't it really sad when a TV show is canceled? It's like a family pet has died. You're not going to see these characters anymore, you're not going to find out what happened to them, and now you have to learn to like a whole new show and a new set of characters. And if the show replaced your favorite canceled show, you probably won't even watch. I still remember when Walker, Texas Ranger replaced Raven on CBS in the early 90s. I never forgave Chuck Norris for doing that and couldn't even watch his show, even though both shows were about heroes who kicked people with their feet.

2007 brought many cancellations to fans. Many cancellations we saw coming, many we didn't care about at all, and some truly hurt us. After the jump are the top five cancellations of the year. The ones that hit us the most and we talked about the most. Air your cancellation grievance in the comments below and at your Festivus party.

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Stump the King - Vega$

by Paul Goebel, posted Oct 29th 2007 10:25AM

Vega$I just finished watching the now cancelled Viva Laughlin and I can totally understand why nobody watched the show. It was a total mess!

I was a fan of the BBC version (Viva Blackpool) and I really had high hopes for the Americanized drama. Sadly, the producers made way too many mistakes for this show to have even the slightest chance.

The first mistake they made was the decision to have the leads sing over the original songs. In the original version of the show, the actors lip-synced all the musical numbers which gave the show a really creepy quality. Especially when the male characters are doing a number like "These Boots Were Made for Walking." It was creepy and funny and weird and enjoyable to watch.

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Viva Laughlin is gone, so let's remember Cop Rock! - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 27th 2007 3:01PM

Cop Rock logoBefore Viva Laughlin (one of the worst shows to premiere on television in the past five years) debuted, no one would have believed a show like Cop Rock ever existed. Cops and crooks suddenly breaking into song and/or dance about robberies, shootings, drug deals, and murder? Sure, why not!

It came from Steven Bochco and ran on ABC in 1990. Check out the video after the jump. It's the classic scene you saw on Hill Street Blues all the time, the cops getting their morning rundown on what's going on. Then the captain suddenly starts singing "Let's Be Careful Out There." There's a cameo by another Bochco star at the end. I'm still wondering why the cops don't look at the guy singing and say "um, shouldn't we call the police psychologist?"

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The TV Squad cancellation trifecta game: We have our first winner!

by Keith McDuffee, posted Oct 25th 2007 5:30PM
canceledAs was reported earlier this week, the first victim of the cancellation fairies has been claimed: Viva Laughlin. 41 out of 671 of you chose this show, and we've randomly chosen commenter Eric D from those entries. Congrats Eric -- you'll be hearing from us soon!

Now, this is not the end of the contest! As you know, we're extending this on until three new shows have gotten the boot. We've got two more $75 Amazon.com gift certificates to give away. Everyone's once again eligible to enter, following the complete rules after the jump.

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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.

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