TONIGHT: U.S. premiere of The L.A. Complex

Here’s a switch—an American network importing content from Canada.

Officials at The CW have high hopes for The L.A. Complex, a makin’-it-in-Hollywood drama from the producers of Degrassi. It makes its U.S. premiere tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW.
“We loved it,” says Thom Sherman, Head of Development at The CW. “It’s an authentic look at people trying to make it in Los Angeles. It was edgy and smart, funny and fresh, and it just felt like a show that belonged on our network.”
The CW was going to break this later this summer but officials there were so high on the series they moved up the premiere date.
Networks on both sides of the border are looking to reduce risk and share costs. The L.A. Complex seems like a good fit with that formula; now it just needs viewers to sign off on the deal.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case when the series premiered in January in Canada. It barely launched, sneaking under the radar on MuchMusic where it opened to 60,000 and slipped into the low 40s. A double pump of the pilot on main network CTV drew 351,000 in overnight estimates.
Critics Stateside seem taken with the series, which stars Cassie Steele (Degrassi), Jewel Staite (Firefly), Jonathan Patrick Moore, Joe Dinicol and Chelan Simmons. Enis Esmer (The Listener), Alan Thicke and Kate Todd are also part of the mix. The series was executive produced and directed by Martin Gero, who helmed the controversial Canadian feature Young People F–king
Andra Fuller has one of the most complex roles as Kaldrick, a gangsta rapper with a secret. It will be interesting to see how his storyline, which gets going in the second episode, plays in the States.
Critics Stateside seem taken with the first few episodes. “Turns out the route to get Melrose Place 2012 right starts not in Hollywood, but Toronto,” wrote Variety. The series is shot on the same Epitome Pictures back lot that has been home to Degrassi these past 47 years.
MuchMusic announced earlier that an additional 13 episodes have been ordered, a move purely motivated to stoke tonight’s U.S. launch. The good news with The CW is the bar is never set too high. About a million people in the States, for example, caught a new episode of 90210 last night.

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