In a development that will probably surprise no one save the Hugh Jackman producing partner who counseled the star, "You know what we be an inspired career move, Hugh? Let's get you into a TV project with casinos. But not Vegas—someone's done that already, I think? Oh, also? There should be SINGING! And a murrrrder!," the debut of CBS's conceptually adventurous Viva Laughlin bombed so badly that network corporate overlord Les Moonves may order the execution of everyone involved after its next airing. Reports TV Week on the Nielsen carnage:
"Laughlin" fell 63 percent from lead-in "CSI" to post a 2.4 preliminary rating among adults 18 to 49 at 10 p.m., coming in last place. Moreover, the show lost 31 percent of its demo rating in its second half hour and was the lowest-rated program among the major broadcast networks for the night.
CBS is going to wait until after Sunday night's "Laughlin" airing in the show's regular time slot before making any decisions about its fate. But if you're working on the show, you might want to stop payment on the boat.
Naturally, such a spectacularly poor result invites second-guessing about the network's programming choices, especially considering CBS's early season struggles with its new series. We speak, of course, of their egregious passing over of Babylon Fields, whose horny zombies could have made a nice lead-out for CSI, allowing viewers to see what might happen if the hit procedural's corpses unzipped their body bags and reassumed their lives once their murders had been solved.