NIKITA: Right Show, Wrong Network?

Is the CW making a mistake of MELROSIAN proportions? That’s the question we find ourselves pondering since last week’s announcement that had the perennial fifth place network unveil NIKITA (a reboot of the 90’s action-thriller LA FEMME NIKITA) as the centerpiece of their Fall 2010 Schedule.

Now, don’t get us wrong. On a personal level, we can’t wait to watch Hong Kong superstar Maggie Q (Mission Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard) kick some serious bad guy butt, not to mention look forward to welcoming her supporting cast of small screen favorites such as ER’s Shane West and THE OC’s Melinda Clarke back into our living room on a weekly basis. That said, it’s hard to ignore the CW’s not so stellar track record when it comes to tapping into cash cows that were once iconic 90’s series.

Think back if you will to this time last year when CW President Dawn Ostroff was busy basking in the glow having just green-lit the much-anticipated MELROSE PLACE reboot. Of course, as Homer Simpson so accurately once put it, “In theory, Communism works. In theory.” Thus, what opened with a splashy murder mystery surrounding the death of one Sydney Andrews ended with a whimper as the once thought of sure-fire hit quickly fizzled on account of audience indifference.

Suffice to say, if MELROSE PLACE’s disappointing ratings were any indication, the CW’s core demographic of women 18-34 tend to only care about one of two things: (1) Really good looking vampires/ demon hunters (See: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and SUPERNATURAL). Or (2), equally good looking high-school/ college-aged students (see: 90210, GOSSIP GIRL and LIFE UNEXPECTED).

Which brings us to the slightly awkward albeit painfully obvious question: Is history about to repeat itself, or are we simply undervaluing the appeal of a girl-fight between thirty-something Maggie Q and forty-something Melinda Clarke? Stay tuned.

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • Nick

    The CW’s mistake, which hopefully is slowly being rectified, was obsessively targeting a micro audience. The original blueprint failed, and now it’s time to include more viewers–because teen girls are fickle and distracted.

    Don’t fall into the trap of “labeling” a network as only being able to show one type of program (i.e. teen girly drama). No network can survive without variety and diversity. It’s high time that the CW execs peruse the heyday lineups from The WB and try to emulate them. Years after the network ended, its goodwill still remains in the viewers’ minds…and goodwill should not be squandered–but capitalized on.

  • If they can tap into the long unfulfilled Alias crowd, they can make it a semi-hit. With DVR/TiVO the fan boys may load up the first couple episodes and watch it in down time from their normal shows. If it makes 5 episodes it will make it.

  • Hil

    I saw the teaser for it and immediately thought it looked too good for the CW. Not sure the audience will find it among the other programming typical for that station.

    I watched the original back in the day and recently thought it could be improved upon if it got the treatment shows on HBO, Showtime, or maybe TNT get. Even the current USA lineup would suit it better. I don't see how the CW could take it as far as it needs to go. We'll see.

  • Amy_D259

    Probably won't be watching.
    I'm tempted to just for Shane West and Melinda Clarke but there's a good chance I won't.

  • Abby

    I'm looking forward to it. I see your point about the retreads but hope this one flies. I'm not planning to watch Hellcats and wish they'd opted to bring out Betwixt, their next supernatural show. Now I can only hope it is a Midseason pick.

  • athena0606

    i actually think NIKITA is right up there alley its about a kick ass chick with a good looking boy after her i think if they build up the fun spy/action stuff and have fun witty dialogue they will come…

  • DB

    CW's mistake was trying to brand itself the “spoiled-white-pretty-shallow-rich-girl” network. thank goodness they finally learned to diversified. yes, i watch gossip girl, but that's enough rich kids for me. I'm addicted to the vampire diaries, and i also can't wait for Nikita (although that timeslot is unfortunately shared by Fringe.) Melinda Clarke has been gone from regular TV role for too long.

  • Jo

    I saw ‘La Femme Nikita’ but I’m not stuck to the past. I think a load of nonsense when people talk about something that has not seen, as is the case in this new NIKITA CW.
    Peta is Peta Maggie Q is Maggie Q…
    For me Peta is past…sorry!

    Love the new cast.

  • I understand the Network trying to diversify, because as the others have said it is basically necessary since they have carves a very specific niche.

    HOWEVER, that niche is what makes that network itself (IMO). I don't think this show will fit. I am excited for its arrival, but I do not expect that it will last long.

  • irishjoe

    I wouldn't be comparing the failure that is sure to be Nikita with Melrose Place… I'm thinking think will be more in the fail rating as that of The Beautiful Life… Which is a shame, because with Dollhouse gone, a chick-kick-ass show is what I want.. but this certainly wont be it!
    I will however be happy to be proved wrong…

  • sanen85

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who had 0 interest in this until Shane West was mentioned

  • guest

    Not gonna watch,would rather watch melrose place,big mistake and maybe when they learn that,they will bring back melrose

  • Gurtegh

    I have that feeling as well but it looks sooooo good!!!!! I loved Melrose Place and if the same thing happenes to Nikita!! I am gonna be soo pissed off! I mean Hellcats look soooo stupid but NIkita looks soo good!

  • Michael Eisner

    Dude! (or Dudette)… ANY remake of Nikita, if done right, will be worth watching! Is CW the same place that Superman… 'Smallville' show is on?? That's the only time I tune in, but if a Nikita reboot is coming, COUNT ME IN! I have Season 1 of Nikita – loved the music; loved the writing, the action, etc. Alias was VERY POOR rip-off (and re-used a number of the characters); as well, I think 24 used some of the characters – rather the 'actors' – 24 was a better rip-off in some ways, but not really a rip-off – it took some of its own directions. Alias was very close to a rip-off of Nikita in a number of ways – first 2 seasons of Alias were Kick-a**, but I think it was 3rd season when it started going downhill – they made Sydney and Arvin work together, and the directors and producers changed (staff) and changed things up too much – made it worse than bland!

  • Jason Priestly

    the Melrose RE-TREAD? Puh-leeze!
    the original was bad enough – except that i would love to stalk Marcia Cross! and the cute teensy blonde chick – i can see her buck teeth, but can't remember her name – she was mega-smokin' ! Garth! Jennie Garth.
    omg – I would make her bed every day; and even take out the trash! but she would have to drive herself to the beauty shop – separate cars is a must! if she begged me, i might say yes to a joint bank account; as long as she signed a pre-nup. anyway… Melrose, 90210 – it's all the same – Amanda, Dylan and all the spoiled rich kids… oh yeah, J. Garth was on 90210, but again, they both kinda merge together in my head – i think it the LSD that causes that.
    — the new Melrose Place – even WORSE than the original! if that's possible.

  • cdnd

    I'm sorry but there is no chance the CW will decide to keep pouring millions into a show that doesn't earn its keep. Why don't you open your wallet if you love MP so much. 🙂 The only mistake the CW made was giving MP a full season. The ratings were so bad it should have been canceled after the first thirteen episodes.

  • Joanie

    Huge fan of the original LaFemme Nikita.
    I wish they would at least bring back a 2 hour movie with Michael and Nikita finally getting together. I'll watch the first episode.