Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: As part of new CW president Mark Pedowitz’s promise to keep the network’s lights on during the summer, the CW is nearing a deal to acquire upcoming Canadian soap The L.A. Complex. The network is in final negotiations to buy the 6 already produced episodes of the series, which premieres on specialty channel MuchMusic next week and will later air on sibling broadcaster CTV. It may also pick up 7 more for a 13-episode run. Created by Canadian writer-producer Martin Gero, L.A. Complex has drawn comparisons to the long-running Canadian teen soap Degrassi, which is produced by the same company, Epitome Pictures. In the vein of Melrose Place, which the CW remade a couple of years ago, L.A. Complex revolves around twenty-somethings living in the same LA apartment complex as they try to make it in Tinseltown. The series features an international cast: Jonathan Patrick Moore (Neighbours) as Connor, a breakout Australian with a dark past; Cassie Steele (Degrassi) as Abby, a Toronto girl ready to fight to get to the top in Hollywood; Joe Dinicol (Life With Derek) as Nick, a nice-guy comedian; Chelan Simmons (Kyle XY) as Alicia, a dancer who will do whatever it takes to make ends meet; and Benjamin Charles Watson (Soul) as Tariq, a talented hip-hop artist from Montreal working as an intern. This is the second time the CW has acquired Canadian scripted series for summer. In 2010, it picked up comedy 18 To Life, which was pulled after 3 episodes. But that show aired with little promotion in a sea of reruns, while L.A. Complex is expected to be a key piece of a full-fledged summer original slate. Gero spent 5 years working on several Stargate series, which were produced in Canada: Stargate Atlantis, on which he rose to showrunner, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Universe. He spent most of the last 2 years in the U.S. working on the HBO comedy series Bored To Death. Gero’s feature debut, the 2007 Young People Fucking, which he wrote and directed, became one of the highest-grossing English-Language Canadian movies ever. Here is a promo for L.A. Complex, whose U.S. sale was brokered by WME:

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