Viva CBS' 'Laughlin'? Well, no

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CBS' musical drama "Viva Laughlin" has become the first major casualty of the 2007-08 broadcast season.

The network on Monday canceled the series co-starring Hugh Jackman after two dismal showings — a special preview Thursday and a regular slot premiere Sunday.

Meanwhile, CBS has ordered four more scripts of another freshman series, the vampire drama "Moonlight."

CBS will air a rerun of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" in "Laughlin's" Sunday 8 p.m. period this week before bringing back "The Amazing Race," which occupied the slot last year. The reality veteran will return for a 12th cycle Nov. 4.

"If there ever was a season (of 'Race') that I consider one of the best, it's this one," co-creator/exec producer Bertram van Munster said. "It's insanely funny, fast-paced and dramatic all at once."

"Laughlin," from Sony Pictures TV, BBC Worldwide Prods. and CBS Paramount Network TV, opened with a 8.4 million viewers and a 2.3 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 in the 10 p.m. hour Thursday, holding onto only 40% of its "CSI" lead-in audience.

On Sunday, the series based on BBC's "Viva Blackpool" managed a minuscule 6.8 million viewers and a 1.2/3 in adults 18-49 at 8 p.m. and shed almost a third of its audience between the first and the second half-hour.

Production on "Laughlin," toplined by Lloyd Owen, Jackman and Melanie Griffith, was shut down Monday. The series was in the midst of shooting Episode 9 of its 13-episode order. It wasn't clear if more episodes would be completed.

"Laughlin" is the first scripted and the highest-profile new series to get the ax this season. It joins previously canceled Fox reality show "Nashville" and CW's video magazine "Online Nation."

"Moonlight," from Warner Bros. TV and Silver Pictures TV, is bridging returning dramas "Ghost Whisperer" and "Numbers." It's done OK in its 9 p.m. Friday slot but is CBS' lowest-rated show on the night.

"Moonlight," which centers on a immortal private investigator (Alex O'Loughlin) from Los Angeles, joins CBS freshman drama "Cane," which has received an order for four scripts (HR 10/11).

CBS' fourth freshman series, comedy "The Big Bang Theory," received a full-season pickup last week (HR 10/19).
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