Thursday, May 3, 2012

First Two Weeks, The LA Complex


Our 44th and final First Two Weeks post of the 2011-12 season examines the CW's Canadian import The LA Complex. Other outlets reported it had the smallest audience of any broadcast premiere ever at just 630,000 viewers. At least a couple premieres have done worse than LA Complex's 0.3 demo (namely NBC's currently airing Escape Routes and CW's 2007 YouTube clips show Online Nation). Either way, this was a pretty disastrous start, as the show started considerably weaker than even the worst of the CW's current scripted offerings.

Week two of The LA Complex held even at a 0.3 demo, but when the numbers are that small it's impossible to know what that even means. (For example, the show could drop an above average 25%, from 0.34 to 0.255, and still round to a 0.3 both times! Or it could be up by that same amount.) Total viewers are sometimes more instructive in these cases, and in that realm the show dropped about 8% (to around 580,000 viewers).

North of the border, this show has already been picked up for 13 episodes beyond the six that the CW acquired. But it's clear at these levels that this will not be a regular season schedule centerpiece for the CW moving forward. I guess, depending on the finances of the CDub's deal with Bell Media, it could be back in some kind of summer role, as the network seems more interested in tackling that part of the season. But I'm still gonna go out on a limb and predict that the least-viewed premiere in the history of broadcast TV will fail to make it to a second season.

"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line all of these numbers up to do an objective analysis in what I call "the system."

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