Viva Laughlin was a 60 minute musical comedy drama series on CBS about a man named Ripley Holden who dreamed of running his own luxury casino in Laughlin, Nevada. When he ran into money problems during construction of the casino he went to a wealthy casino operator for help but the potential partner wanted to cut Ripley completely out of the deal. To make matters even worse, Ripley's former business partner turned up dead and Ripley wrongly seemed to be the ideal suspect! In an unusual twist for a drama series, the cast would occasionally start break out into a song! Comedy was also mixed into dramatic moments and the mix didn't quite work.
Viva Laughlin Cast
Lloyd Owen .... Ripley Holden
Melanie Griffith .... Bunny Baxter
Madchen Amick .... Natalie Holden
Ellen Woglom .... Cheyenne Holden
Eric Winter .... Peter Carlyle
Carter Jenkins .... Jack Holden
D.B. Woodside .... Marcus Henckman
Hugh Jackman .... Nicky Fontana
P. J. Byrne .... Jonesy
Viva Laughlin Trivia
There were six episodes of Viva Laughlin that were produced but were not broadcast. Three of them were titled, "Takin' Care of Business", "Magic Carpet Ride", and "Bad Moon Rising". The other three were never titled.
The casino scenes on viva Laughlin were filmed on location at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, California.
Surprisingly, the critics were fairly kind when it came to their analysis of the singing part of the show but they really damned the dialog and the acting. The review in the New York Times 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"? Newsday's review began with, "The stud is a dud" and ended with, "Let us count the ways it bombs..."! The show was eventually mentioned on the television critique series, "The Soup" when host Joel McHale said that it was, "the show that was loved by hundreds". OUCH!
Viva Laughlin is just one more example of the numerous popular British series that somehow didn't translate to American audiences. It was based on the very popular UK serial miniseries titled, "Blackpool". Even though the creator of the British version, "Peter Bowker" was instrumental in adapting the scripts for U.S. audiences, it just didn't work.
After the series was canceled on October 21, 2007 CBS aired a repeat of "C.S.I." in Viva Laughlin's 8:00 PM Eastern timeslot on the following Sunday and then premiered "The Amazing Race" for its twelfth season on November 4, 2007.
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
Viva Laughlin - The First and Only Season
- Pilot Episode (10/18/2007)
- What a Whale Wants (10/21/2007)
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