'Nikita': The CW enters the spy game

nikita-maggie-q-05-320.jpgThe CW wants to play with the big boy networks, and "Nikita" looks like it could be the broadly appealing, yet female demo-friendly project to help accomplish that.

Disclaimer: These posts are not reviews -- shows often make tweaks to their pilot episodes between filming in the spring and their fall debuts. Full reviews will come closer to the premiere date.

What it is: Loosely based on the original Luc Besson-directed film "La Femme Nikita," the fall series stars Maggie Q ("Mission: Impossible III") as a convicted felon who was forced by a covert government unit known as The Division to be an assassin. She escaped three years ago and now wants to take down the group, preventing them from conscripting others.

Who's behind it:
Executive producers Peter Johnson and McG are action and spy veterans with "Chuck" and "Human Target" target under their belts and have worked with The CW before on "Supernatural." McG gets extra girl points with his involvement in "Pussycat Dolls: The Search for the Next Doll" and directing the "Charlie's Angels" film franchise.

What to look for:
Shane West and Melinda Clarke ("The O.C.") are familiar faces who play a big part in The Division. As with any conspiracy series, expect a few surprises and hidden motivations. We wouldn't be surprised if "Nikita" started welcoming guest stars in key spy or flashback roles. Maggie Q's martial arts background also lends some realism to the action scenes.

What pops:
It's a visual treat with production that looks cinematic, fun costuming and a cast that's specifically chosen for their good looks (for better spy-making of course). Maggie Q fulfills the needs of the troubled but ruthless heroine admirably.

What doesn't:
The dialogue could use a little work and a bit more of a voice.. In the very least, Nikita or a couple of the bad guys need some clever or humorous lines.

Reminiscent of:
"Alias," "Dark Angel" and "Dollhouse."

Take a look at the extended preview:



And the latest trailer "New Name":




Photo credit: The CW


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