Viva Laughlin, universally regarded as the worst new series of the Fall TV season, has been canceled by CBS after only two episodes.  The Viva Laughlin pilot aired on Thursday, with CBS showing the second episode on Sunday (which was supposed to be its permanent time slot).  The ratings were abysmal on both nights, almost historically so, prompting CBS to enact the quickest series cancellation of the 2007 season.  The Amazing Race, originally slated to return in January, will be moved up a few months and premiere on November 4 in the Sunday 8pm slot.  Next Sunday, a repeat of CSI: will fill the 8pm slot while The Amazing Race prepares to take the air.

Viva Laughlin
was an adaptation of the British television program Viva Blackpool.  While I have not seen Blackpool, CBS’ Viva Laughlin was a terrible miscalculation.  The show, which was brought to CBS in part by movie star Hugh Jackman, was about a wannabe casino owner embroiled in a murder mystery.  Viva Laughlin’s embarrassing gimmick was that characters would randomly break into song.  But, not in the way we’re used to.  The original version of a classic rock song (for instance, “Sympathy for the Devil”) would start playing and the actors would sing and dance along to it.  This presented numerous problems, but mostly the actors were poor singers and it just ended up ruining the original song.  So, considering that Viva Laughlin’s calling card, the thing that made the show unique, was awful, it’s no wonder that the series was a complete failure. 

I don’t mean to sound cruel.  There were some apologists out there (BuddyTV Writer Face-Off for Viva Laughlin), but they were in the vast minority.  The New York Times published a review that wondered if Viva Laughlin was the worst show in TV history.  Although that rhetorical question was hyperbolic, it was indicative of the kind of vitriol Viva Laughlin incited among critics. 

As for The Amazing Race, CBS has some interesting decisions.  Although the season was supposed to air in 2008, it’s been in the can for a few months now, and I wonder if The Amazing Race team is readying themselves for production of an additional season that could possibly air sometime in the Spring.  Being an avid Race fan, I’m hoping this is the case.  Regardless, I’m just pumped for The Amazing Race to return in two weeks.  It’s a very pleasant surprise.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Source: The Futon Critic
(Image Courtesy of CBS)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV