CBS has cancelled its musical drama series Viva Laughlin after just two low-rated episodes. This marks the third cancellation of the season (behind Nashville and Online Nation) but is actually the first scripted series fatality.
Co-executive produced by Hugh Jackman, Viva Laughlin is based on Viva Blackpool, a hit BBC series. Laughlin tells the story of gambler and businessman Ripley Holden (Lloyd Owen) wants to fulfill a lifelong dream of opening a casino but ends up being the prime suspect in the murder investigation of his business partner. Other characters were played by Lloyd Owen, Madchen Amick, Carter Jenkins, D.B. Woodside, and Eric Winter.
Some of the characters sing and dance to hit songs to move the show’s storyline along. This aspect originally seemed to be the show’s big promotional point. When CBS began airing promos, the musical aspect was conspicuously missing. Likely those that watched the premiere were confused when some of the characters began singing and dancing. After a skad of poor reviews, Viva Laughlin debuted to a weak 8.4 million last Thursday, losing a significant amount of the audience before it was over. Last night, the show’s viewership dropped even further to approximately 6.8 million last night. With the worst performance of a first-run series on CBS since last year’s Armed & Famous, the network has cancelled the series effective immediately.
Viva Laughlin’s loss will end up being The Amazing Race’s gain. Race was waiting in the wings and will now debut its 12th season on Sunday, November 4th. A rerun of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation will fill the gap next Sunday so that CBS will have sufficient time to hype Race’s premiere.
It’s unknown exactly how many episodes of Viva Laughlin have actually been completed and sit on the network’s shelf, though the network initially ordered a baker’s dozen. CBS has yet to determine if any remaining episodes will be streamed online or if they’ll be aired on a cable station. We’ll keep you posted when we know more. Stay tuned!