The CW's L.A. Complex Has The Worst Rated Drama Debut In Broadcast TV History

L.A. Complex cast

In the battle for broadcast network supremacy, The CW has always been a distant fifth, even to the sinking ship known as NBC. I know this. You know this. This isn't to say that the network has no good shows, but its offerings target the 18-34 female demographic almost exclusively. Sure, Supernatural is an exception in that it has a good sized male fanbase, but the primetime lineup is still mostly shows like Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, etc. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it greatly limits the potential audience shares the network's programming will attract. And today, reports that the little network that couldn't has just reached a new low. Literally.

The network's new mid-season drama The L.A. Complex (an import from Canada) debuted to the worst numbers of any broadcast drama premiere since the Nielsens started measuring such things. Despite generally positive critical appraisal, the series bowed to a dismal 640,000 total viewers and a disastrous demo number of 0.3. To put this in perspective, fellow freshman CW series Ringer is hanging on by a thread and these numbers make its ratings look downright impressive. Even worse, Complex lost half of its lead-in 90210's 1.2 million viewers.

After this terrible initial performance, I think L.A. Complex may just break the land speed record for quickest cancellation in the network's history. The ratings would have to improve by over 60% to even remotely justify airing more than one more episode. Hell, the network may just decide to cut its losses now and air a Vampire Diaries re-run in that timeslot next week.

Did you watch L.A. Complex? Did you even know it existed? Do you (like me) think that the CW would do well to add a few more guy targeted shows to its lineup and thus branch out its audience? Discuss.

- The L.A. Complex
- CW

Written by: msd85
Apr 26th, 2012, 5:48 am


Message Posted On Sep 29th, 2012, 3:58 pm
I am.male and really enjoy la complex and have seen both.seasons.....i only heard about it from hulu and i hope it gets season 3

Level 2 (64%)
Points: 17
Since: 18/Dec/11
Message Posted On May 1st, 2012, 10:13 am

This has just started showing on the CW first episode pretty darn bad but for some reason I watched the whole episode. After it was over I couldn't believe how bad it truly was BUT I give most shows up until the 3rd episode before I can make such a decision. For this one it may be down to the 2nd episode before I cross it off my "watchlist".


Level 1 (36%)
Since: 17/Apr/12
Message Posted On Apr 27th, 2012, 11:55 am

"I think L.A. Complex may just break the land speed record for quickest cancellation in the network's history"


Too late for that.  Can't remember what show it was, but it aired its premiere one night and was cancelled by 9:00am the next morning.


But the show can't be all that bad (I've DVR'd it and haven't had time to watch it yet).  First of all, it's been renewed for a 13-episode 2nd season up here in Canada.  Secondly, the CW repeated the pilot on Wednesday, and the number of viewers increased by nearly 80,000!  I think the problem is that the CW didn't promote the show very well.  At least 80,000 people didn't even know it had been on until Tuesday's ratings came out, and then they watched the repeat airing.  I guess we'll find out after next Tuesday's airing.



Message Posted On Apr 27th, 2012, 6:35 am
Already seen all six episodes. The show is bad and it deserves bad ratings.

Message Posted On Apr 26th, 2012, 9:18 pm
CW just dying and L.A. Complex is very good show.

Message Posted On Apr 26th, 2012, 4:25 pm
There are a lot of factors that could contribute to those numbers, but the main is that ithe show was available online for a full week before its premiere. Also I doubt any "male" oriented shows could the only save for The CW in viewership. Despite the swoon factor of its leads, Supernatural is very male oriented. But you wouldnt know that by the females bloggers/journalists who cover the show.
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