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Hugh Jackman’s Huge Gamble

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Sick of typical shows about dark yet brilliant surgeons or teens with superpowers? Well, Viva Laughlin is definitely not typical. Based on the BBC hit Viva Blackpool, the show revolves around a casino in Laughlin, Nevada, whose owner becomes entangled in a murder. But it’s also—wait for it—a musical! Weaving classic pop songs into the plot! And the actors don’t lip-synch; they sing over the songs, so the original vocal track (say, Mick Jagger) is audible under the actor’s voice (say, Hugh Jackman). Jackman is the show’s executive producer, and also appears as an evil casino mogul. (He enters singing “Sympathy for the Devil.”) The whole wacky idea might seem a bit out-there, but really, who can’t like a murder mystery-slash-pseudo-karaoke show? Jackman sees it appealing to all ages, “though I’m not really up to speed on the whole ‘demographics thing.’” Won’t it at least attract those inclined toward campy musicals? “I hope so,” he says. “Where they go, others follow, right?”

Viva Laughlin
CBS; premieres October 18 (10 p.m.).


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