CBS musical-mystery series Viva Laughlin (based on the superlative BBC skein Blackpool) has received a rare infusion of fresh blood in the form of a former Joss Whedon staffer.
Steven DeKnight (Angel), late of Smallville, and Tyler Bensinger (Cold Case) have joined the staff of Viva Laughlin as show runners and executive producers on the series.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, there had been rumblings that Sony, BBC, and network CBS would insert another producer or two to run Viva Laughlin alongside executive producer Bob Lowry. Lowry will be staying on board the genre-melding series, which stars Lloyd Owen, Madchen Amick, Melanie Griffith, Carter Jenkins, Eric Winter, Ellen Woglom, D.B. Woodside, and Hugh Jackman.
Personally, I think the series needs some major improvements and quickly. I was a huge fan of the original Blackpool but this US remake feels awfully forced and not incredibly likely to catch on with mainstream America. Can DeKnight turn this sinking ship around? Stay tuned.
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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionaryblog.com.