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CBS cancels ‘Viva Laughlin’

Network axes show after two episodes

CBS is singing the blues over “Viva Laughlin,” which has been officially canceled after just two episodes.

Emmy winner “The Amazing Race” will take “Laughlin’s” place in the Sunday 8 p.m. slot – where the reality show resided last year – effective Nov. 4. A repeat “CSI” will run in the time period next week.

“Laughlin” becomes this season’s first scripted series casualty. Eye initially had high hopes for “Laughlin,” starting with the imprint of exec producer Hugh Jackman. Show was based on the hit BBC series “Viva Blackpool,” about a gambler who opens a casino but winds up in the middle of a murder investigation. The series repped part of the net’s attempt to create some buzz with shows that weren’t CBS’ normal fare. In this case, “Laughlin” included characters that sang (and sometime danced) along to hit songs to advance the plot.

But critics were generally unimpressed with “Laughlin,” and viewers mostly stayed away. Show tanked in its premiere Sunday night airing, averaging just a 1.2 rating and 3 share among adults 18-49. That came after a disappointing Thursday night bow in the post-”CSI” time slot.

In the end, even the net appeared to distance itself from the show, mostly stripping promos of any mention of the sing-along gimmick.

Jackman, John Palermo, Bob Lowry, Paul Telegdy and Peter Bowker exec produced “Viva Laughlin,” which came from BBC Worldwide Prods., Sony Pictures TV and CBS Paramount Network TV. Lloyd Owen, Madchen Amick, Carter Jenkins, D.B. Woodside and Eric Winter starred in the show.

Eye is still determining what to do with the remaining episodes of “Viva Laughlin,” such as streaming them online or placing them on a cable outlet.

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