'Viva Laughlin' Premieres Tonight on CBS
'Viva Laughlin' Premieres Tonight on CBS
Viva Laughlin is s a new musical/drama/comedy/soap opera from CBS which will premiere tonight on CBS at 10pm, following CSI.  CBS is calling this a preview of the Viva Laughlin pilot.  It will re-air this Sunday in its permanent time slot at 8pm.  The show is based off the English series Viva Blackpool, originally created by Peter Bowker.  Viva Laughlin was adapted by Bowker and Bob Lowry, and are joined as executive producers by John Palermo, Paul Talegdy, Gabriele Muccino (who directed the pilot) and Hugh Jackman.  Jackman is also the sometimes-star of the series who will appear in some, but not all, episodes of Viva Laughlin.  The series follows an optimistic gambler/family man named Ripley Holden as he attempts to open his very own casino in Laughlin, Nevada.

Ripley Holden is played by British actor Lloyd Owen.  The pilot sees Ripley's casino funding suddenly fall through.  In a last gasp effort, he approaches his nemesis and owner of the biggest casino in Laughlin, Nicky Fontana (Hugh Jackman).  Meanwhile, Ripley's business partner and source of his original funding is found dead, catapulting Ripley into the midst of a murder investigation.  Madchen Amick plays Ripley's loving wife Natalie Holden.  D.B. Woodside plays Nicky Fontana's right hand man Marcus Hanckman.  Melanie Griffith will portray the recurring character of Bunny Baxter, trophy wife of Ripley's now-deceased business partner.

Along with all the drama and intrigue of Viva Laughlin is a very unique musical element.  Every so often, characters will break into full-fledged musical numbers, singing and dancing along to classic rock and roll hits.  Reviews for Viva Laughlin have been poor, but it worked in England, so you never know.  The series may find an audience.  Hugh Jackman is prominently featured in the pilot, and CBS is likely banking on his appeal as a movie star to bring in the ratings.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)