Setting a new base standard for hyperbolic comparison, The CW's midseason debut of The L.A. Complex fulfilled the destiny of its warm critical reception by bringing in embarrassingly low ratings—the lowest, in fact, for a broadcast drama premiere since ratings began. The showbiz-satirizing soap about a group of young self-aware sexy people trying to "make it" while living in a rundown apartment complex attracted only 646,000 viewers, or right around the entire population of El Paso. "Well, we really missed Melrose Place," said the city of El Paso as the rest of the country ignored them, actively tuning out after 90210 was over, yet still tuning back in for the perpetually low-rated Ringer, which managed to look like a runaway hit in comparison.
While this would normally be cause to predict that The CW will cancel The L.A. Complex immediately out of embarrassment, it's worth noting that The CW doesn't cancel anything—and indeed, achieving the benchmark of "Worst Ratings Ever" is already proving to be excellent publicity, not to mention oddly appropriate for a show about starry-eyed hopefuls being crushed by reality, meaning the network could turn this into a savvy marketing campaign if they were smart. Either that, or await the influx of Firefly white knights who can't bear to see Jewel Staite wasted on another failed drama.
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