‘Nikita’ Season 3 Premiere – The Good, the Bad and the Dirty Thirty

New day, new Division. Same ol’ Nikita.

Nikita busted open the door of its third season tonight and just like a rogue agent in the field, it was slick, unpredictable and kicked a whole ton of butt.

After the explosive events of the second season finale, we’re into new territory with the third season. I’d contend that the biggest question at this point is if the show can survive without the guy we loved to hate: Percy. In that sense, Season 3 is a reboot sorts as Nikita sets her sights on a whole new brand of villains.

Here’s the good, bad and the ugly of the Season 3 kickoff, aka Life after Percy.

The New Division

Gone are the days when Division was a prison for agents-in-training. Now these walls fight for good. Ryan Fletcher now has the juice, being commissioned by the POTUS run Division. It’s a bit weird not seeing Percy or Amanda calling the shots from the office and you can expect Ryan’s by the book approach to conflict a lot with Nikita’s by-the-gut style, as it did tonight.

The Dirty Thirty

How do you replace uber-villain Percy? Not with just one mere person, that’s for sure.

That’s where the Dirty Thirty come in: thirty rogue agents who all decided to ignore Division’s post-Percy command to report it. Nikita and friends successfully took out one tonight, and you can expect the rest to be fodder for our mission-of-the-week installments going forward.

I’m sure the writers will mix things up here from episode to episode, but Percy’s absence is felt in the premiere. These little side missions are always fun and exciting, but the presence of a big, looming danger has served the show well. That brings us to…

Amanda

The vixen was nowhere in sight in the premiere, though we know she’s out there causing trouble. I hope that when she does come back in (somewhere around episode 4), she’s even viler than we’ve seen in the past.  And hopefully, Ari is with her.

Birkhoff

“Oh, No she didn’t!” Everyone’s favorite hacker was back doing what he does best: providing the comic relief just when things are getting a little crazy. But his crush on Sonya has hit rocky times and we don’t know just yet what he’s done to piss her off.

Mike Liked It, So He Put A Ring On It

Only would a rogue agent bring an engagement ring on a mission.  Mikita fans must have done a touchdown celebration when Michael proposed to Nikita. While these two have been an item for over a season now, I don’t think anyone expected them to get engaged this early. Sure, there’s the whole carpe diem thing, but I’d imagine they’d be more focused on ending their spy game and then walking off into the sunset later. That makes me believe more rocky times are on the horizon for these two.

Nikita’s Entourage

With Michael, Alex, Ryan, Birkhoff, Sean and a roving Owen, there’s a whole lot of good-doers on Nikita’s six. The jury is out if this is a better approach for the show, which focused primarily on Nikita and Alex taking on all the bad guys back in Season 1. It’s a bit hard to spread screen time to all these guys, so maybe some of the ‘fat’ will be trimmed before we bid Season 3 adieu?

Overall, “3.0” was a fine start to the season. Nikita is a show that is constantly evolving, yet never fails to deliver the goods. Hopefully it fares better in the ratings as it takes on its second straight season in the 8PM Friday slot.

Nikita At Comic-Con – Owen’s Back, New Villains Revealed – The Dirty Thirty

How do you replace super-villain Percy on Nikita? You can’t just do it with one person, you have to pit Nikita against thirty lethal Division agents.

Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca, Melinda Clarke, Aaron Stanford and executive producer Craig Silverstein were on hand at Comic-Con to dish about the upcoming third season of the CW show.

Silverstein explained that, with Percy out of the way, Nikita will face off with a rotating set of villains that will effectively take his place. This evil contingent will be known as the Dirty Thirty. They’ve all removed their kill chips and officially gone rogue. That means that Nikita, Michael, Alex and Birkhoff will spend the season hunting them down.

In the first episode, the villain our group of heroes take on will be played by Jeffrey Pierce, who was last scene on J.J. Abrams’ cancelled project Alcatraz.

Also, Dewon Sawa fans will be delighted to know that Owen will be returning to the fray as well. He went noticeably absent about midway through the second season, and missed all of the theatrics that went down when Nikita finally decided to take down Percy. Owen is set to return in the 4th episode of the season.

Some other tidbits from the Nikita panel: Amanda will be in exile and be in a position that Nikita was in the first season. You can expect her to comeback with a vengeance. Also, rocky time are ahead for Nikita and Michael’s relationship (as you’d expect with Owen coming back).

Nikita starts late this year, with a premiere date of Friday, Oct 19 at 9/8c on The CW.

 

Photos courtesy of the Nikita Facebook page.

Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Arrow, Hart of Dixie, 90210 & other CW Fall Premieres Announced

The CW has just released its Fall premiere lineup.

Beauty and The Beast, starring Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan, will follow The Vampire Diaries on Thursdays, taking the spot of The Secret Circle.

Bringing back the familiar pairing of DC Heroes (Smallville) with Supernatural, the Winchesters moves to Wednesdays and will follow the premiere of Arrow, starring Stephen Amell.

Tuesdays will be the home of Hart of Dixie and Emily Owens, M.D., while Gossip Girl‘s final season will be matched with more 90210.

Nikita will air Friday nights, following America’s Next Top Model: College Edition.

Full Lineup:
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2
8:00-9:00 PM HART OF DIXIE (Season Premiere)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3
9:00-10:00 PM SUPERNATURAL (Season Premiere)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 8
8:00-9:00 PM 90210 (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM GOSSIP GIRL (Season Premiere)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10
8:00-9:00 PM ARROW (Series Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM SUPERNATURAL

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11
8:00-9:00 PM THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Series Premiere)

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16
8:00-9:00 PM HART OF DIXIE
9:00-10:00 PM EMILY OWENS, M.D. (Series Premiere)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL: COLLEGE EDITION
9:00-10:00 PM NIKITA (Season Premiere)

May 2012 Photo Flashback: Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Arrow, Hart of Dixie, Nikita & More CW Shows Invade NYC

We’ve got over 90 photos of CW Network stars and executive producers from 90210, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, The Carrie Diaries, Beauty and the Beast, Arrow, Emily Owens M.D., Nikita, and Hart of Dixie as they made their way into New York City this May.

Click thumbnails to enlarge and browse gallery:

CW Stars of New and Existing shows present include:
Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen in Arrow), Katie Cassidy (Laurel in Arrow), Kristin Kreuk (Catherine in Beauty and the Beast), Jay Ryan (Vincent in Beauty and the Beast), AnnaSophia Robb (Carrie in The Carrie Diaries), Candace Bushnell (author of The Carrie Diaries) Matt Davis (Jeff in Cult), Jessica Lucas (Skye in Cult), Mamie Gummer (Emily in Emily Owens, MD), Justin Hartley (Will in Emily Owens, M.D.), Michael Rady (Micah in Emily Owens M.D.), Aja Naomi King (Cassandra in Emily Owens MD), Kelly McCreary (Tyra in Emily Owens, MD), Jessica Stroup (90210), Jessica Lowndes (90210), Shanae Grimes (90210), Rachel Bilson (Hart of Dixie), Scott Porter (Hart of Dixie), Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie), Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie), Jaime King (Hart of Dixie), Maggie Q (Nikita), Shane West (Nikita), Jared Padalecki (Supernatural), Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries), Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries), Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries), Candice Accola (The Vampire Diaries), Steven R. McQueen (The Vampire Diaries), Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries) and Zach Roerig (The Vampire Diaries).

CW 2012-2013 Schedule: ‘Supernatural’ Moves to Wednesday – Paired With ‘Arrow’

green arrow cw

The CW announced several logical scheduling moves today as it had to make room for five new dramas. The biggest move we observed was the network pulling Supernatural out of Friday and moving it to Wednesday nights. It will no longer be pitted against Fringe and Grimm and will be paired with the Green Arrow-based drama, Arrow.

Arrow is going to star Stephen Amell as billionaire Oliver Queen, who was missing and presumed dead after a shipwreck, before resurfacing on a remote Pacific island. Upon his return to Starling City, and acclimation back to his world of philanthropy, Queen creates the vigilante persona of Arrow to restore his city to greatness. Also starring is Colin Donnell as best friend Tommy, Katie Cassidy as former girlfriend Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as chauffeur John Diggle, Willa Holland as sister Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as mother Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance.

The strategy of the move to Wednesday may be to pair the male-lead characters of Supernatural with another strong male lead series as opposed to Nikita on Friday nights.

Speaking of Nikita, it is getting paired with new lead-in, America’s Top Model on Friday nights and so the logic of grouping shows based on the genders featured, may be the aim of the CW. Top Model has always been on Wednesday, so this may be more of final and last-ditch effort to restore its once-solid ratings before it’s sent off packing.

Monday nights are going to belong to the ladies too as 90210 and Gossip Girl‘s final season are going to begin the year, and then The Carrie Diaries will come in midseason and replace one of the CW’s flagship shows. The Sex and the City prequel series will star Anna Sophia Robb (Soul Surfer) as Carrie Bradshaw, Ellen Wong as Mouse, Brendan Dooling as Walt and Katie Findlay as Maggie.

Emily Owens cw

Tuesday night is going to be a healthy dose of medicine as small town charmer, Hart of Dixie returns for its second season and will lead into the new medical series, Emily Owens, M.D. which was formerly called First Cut. It features Emily Owens, played by Mamie Gummer, a young woman fresh out of medical school and is a first-year intern at Denver Memorial Hospital. Coincidentally Emily’s med-school crush, played by Justin Hartley is also an intern.

Emily though as a full-fledged grown-up, she’d no longer have to be uncomfortable with her geeky and nerdy ways, but the politics and drama of high school has just been fostered into adulthood at Denver Memorial where the social wars meets the hard and fast decision-making of a hospital. Yes, it sounds like a CW version of Grey’s Anatomy.

beauty and the beast cw

The Vampire Diaries will remain on Thursday where it will be a lead-in for the Beauty and the Beast reboot of the 80’s romance drama starring Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) and Jay Ryan (Terra Nova). Kreuk will play Catherine Chandler, a humorless homicide detective meets a debonair doctor named Vincent Keller (Ryan). She later finds out Vincent has been hiding for 10 years, thought to be dead serving in Afghanistan and is also the mysterious man who saved her several years prior when Catherine witnessed her mother gunned down by two assailants. Vincent’s reason for hiding are tied to his morphing into an uncontrollable monster whenever his anger is provoked. Their new knowledge of each other is a positive thing, but is also an added danger to both.

Joining The Carrie Diaries as a midseason replacement is Cult, which is about a television show where mysterious occurrences and disappearances surround the production. An investigative journalist, Jeff Sefton played by The Vampire Diaries’ Matt Davis, begins digging into the show and why so many of its viewers are inspired to take harmful risks in the name of “Cult.” It also stars Alona Tal (Supernatural), Robert Knepper (Prison Break), and Jessica Lucas (Melrose Place). Look for Cult to replace America’s Top Model midseason Friday nights or any other show that fails to have adequate ratings for the CW.

The CW 2012-2013 Fall Schedule
(New shows in CAPS, Times are Eastern Standard Time)

Monday
8:00-9:00 pm “90210”
9:00-10:00 pm “Gossip Girl” / THE CARRIE DIARIES (2013)

Tuesday
8:00-9:00 pm “Hart of Dixie”
9:00-10:00 pm “EMILY OWENS, M.D.” (Previously First Cut)

Wednesday
8:00-9:00 pm “ARROW”
9:00-10:00 pm “Supernatural”

Thursday
8:00-9:00 pm “The Vampire Diaries”
9:00-10:00 pm “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST”

Friday
8:00-9:00 pm “Top Model”
9:00-10:00 pm “Nikita”

Which new CW Show excites you? Are you okay with all of the realignment and rescheduling? Share your thoughts below.

Renewals, Pickups and Cancellations Roundup for ABC, NBC, CW and AMC

Dozens of shows learned their fate this week so we’re going to run down the latest as they came in on Friday evening. The headline news included series such as Nikita, Happy Endings, Parks & Rec, Body of Proof, and yes, even Whitney being renewed while NBC’s Awake and Harry’s Law were not.

Make note of how many 13-episode seasons were ordered. The thinking may be that the networks are learning that the cable model does work better, because it 1) allows more shows to be added to the lineup and 2) keeps the interest going through the fall instead of trying to carry the momentum through the holiday breaks. That doesn’t give fans many episodes to be excited about, but in the case of Community, any word of renewal, regardless of number was good news.

Networks could also be thinking the strategy behind 13-episode seasons could be to air during the fall and if ratings quickly justify an additional order of 9 or more episodes, then they have that option, or they could use the winter months to release mid-season replacements.

happy endings cast

ABC
In one of its best moves of the day (and also long-awaited), ABC renewed Happy Endings for a third, 22-episode season. The fast paced comedy got the “ending” fans wanted and will join others already given the thumbs up including Modern Family, Suburgatory, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, and The Middle. Don’t Trust The B–— in Apt. 23 and Scandal were renewed earlier today, as did bubble shows, Private Practice and Body of Proof, which each got 13 episode renewals. For Private Practice it is expected to be its last season, while Body of Proof proved to have international appeal–a key factor in many other renewals (Fox’s Touch being another one) around the other networks. Last Man Standing was the last to get its expected renewal at the end of Friday. Cougar Town is moving to TBS.

ABC Pilots ordered to series were 666 Park Ave. with Terry O’Quinn; Zero Hour with Anthony Edwards and Michael Nyqvist; crime series Red Widow (formerly Penoza) with Lee Tergesen and Radha Mitchell; How to Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life with Sarah Chalke, Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett; Family Tools (formerly Red Man Van, White Van Man) with Leah Remini, Kyle Bornheimer, and J.K. Simmons; Last Resort with Andre Braugher, Dichen Lachmen, Autumn Reeser, and Scott Speedman; Neighbors with Jami Gertz; and Malibu Country with Reba McEntire and Lily Tomlin.

Those canceled were Ashley Judd’s Taken-like thriller The Missing, CGB, Pan Am, and The River.

NBC
The morning after its season finale, Parks & Rec was given a fifth season and a full order of 22 episodes. Hell froze over because Whitney was officially picked up. Up All Night like Community will be given 13 episodes. NBC has been giving its newer comedies and bubble shows 13 episodes to make room for ten (!) new shows that were picked up for series. Reality series Fashion Star also got a second season because of its immediate advertiser friendly format, especially for Macy’s, H&M, and Saks Fifth Avenue.  The Office was also given another season.

Those new series ordered to series include, 1600 Penn with Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman; Animal Practice with Justin Kirk; Go On with Matthew Perry Laura Benanti and Khary Payton; Guys With Kids with Jesse Bradford and produced by Jimmy Fallon; Dane Cook alpha male comedy Next Caller; Save Me with Anne Heche, the fire-fighting action drama Chicago Fire; a Meagan Good high society soap Infamous; Do No Harm with Steven Pasquale and Phylicia Rashad, and J.J. Abrams’ Revolution starring Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito.

One of those unlucky at the Peacock was David E. Kelley’s Harry’s Law, which did not reach a third season. This was a surprise considering it was drawing in an average of 8.8 million viewers. Those are numbers that NBC could use and while it wasn’t a hit with the coveted younger 18-40 demographic, the lead actor, Kathy Bates is in her early 60s and the audience skewed to her fans.

awake banner

Other cancellations included BFF, Are You There, Chelsea, Bent, and procedural mind-bender Awake, which many had hoped would be given another chance. Awake will be missed by its strongest advocates online, as it gave NBC a quality drama with subtle sci-fi elements allowing it to toe the line of genre and police procedural, but it could never generate the ratings needed to make the grade. It was one of the most anticipated series in NBC’s 2011-2012 rollout but lost steam when it was held over as a mid-season replacement. NBC keeps trying to make good dramas, but they just cut one.

CW
It was all love and drama at the CW as it gave Gossip Girl one last season. It might be an abbreviated season though as there’s been no word on how long the season will be. 13 more episodes may be all it gets. Rachel Bilson and Hart of Dixie were picked up for a second season and so was Maggie Q and Nikita. Both shows will get a full order of 22 episodes. Nikita is one of those shows that struggles on Friday nights, but the genre show has plenty of international appeal. These announcements come off the heels of the renewals of its strongest shows, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and 90210, which were given more life on Thursday. CW shows are getting additional viewings online and DVRs have been friendly to the network too.

nikita

New series pickups include a record five scripted series for the CW: Sex & The City prequel, The Carrie Diaries, mystery drama Cult, medical drama First Cut, the Beauty and the Beast reboot with Kristin Kreuk, and DC Comics’ property Green Arrow-based action series Arrow. With the Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen and The Avengers’ Hawkeye, archers are officially thriving in Hollywood.

But the CW wasn’t so charitable Friday. Given the swift swing of the axe were two first-season shows with poor ratings, modern noir soap Ringer and The Secret Circle despite Kevin Williamson’s involvement.

AMC
The cable network “where story matters,” finally discovered the beauty of low-cost reality shows and gave second seasons to Kevin Smith’s
Comic Book Men, which was basically Pawn Stars in a comic shop, and The Walking Dead companion talk show, The Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick.

Nikita Season 2 Episode 20: ‘Shadow Walker’ – Target on Birkhoff

The Nikita Season 2 finale is fast approaching and once again all efforts are focused on taking down Percy (Xander Berkeley) and Division.

The CW released a revised synopsis for Episode 220, “Shadow Walker,” which will focus heavily on computer guru Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford). The episode was directed by Nick Copus and written by Kristen Reidel.

“Shadow Walker” airs on Friday, April 27.

Story:
Nikita (Maggie Q) convinces a reluctant Birkhoff to use 20 million dollars of his own money in a plan to bankrupt Percy and Division, but when Percy ends up stealing Birkhoff’s entire life savings, Birkhoff and Nikita clash. Team Nikita has one last chance to hit Percy again, but Birkhoff is arrested trying to regain his millions and Nikita realizes she must break him out of jail before Division gets to him. Michael (Shane West) and Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) go after Birkhoff’s stolen money while Nikita goes to save Birkhoff.

One Tree Hill Series Finale, Plus Supernatural & Vampire Diaries Season Finale Dates Announced

The 2011-2012 TV season is quickly coming to a close and with it a few stellar finales are on the way.

One Tree Hill

The CW has announced that the One Tree Hill Series Finale will air on Wednesday, April 4 at 8:00-10:00 PM. That’s right, a 2-hour finale. The Ringer will have its season finale on Tuesday, April 17 at 9PM.

On May 10, The Vampire Diaries season 3 will come to a close, followed by the frosh season finale of The Secret Circle.

Vampire Diaries

On Monday, May 14, Gossip Girl and Hart of Dixie will conclude their seasons. The 90210 season finale, follows on Tuesday, May 15.

On Friday, May 18, Nikita and Supernatural will conclude their seasons.

The CW will also premiere a new six-part drama called The L.A. Complex on Tuesday, April 24.

Nikita Season 2 Episode 10 Review: Guardians

The mid-season finale of Nikita was admittedly not as thrilling of an episode on a whole as many would have anticipated. Perhaps expectations were too high because every single episode of season two thus far has knocked it out of the park. Give or take a few revelations and incredible dialogue between Nikita and Owen (Devon Sawa)… the mid-season finale was the least satisfying episode of the season.

“If he can’t see what he left behind, then maybe you shouldn’t be together.” – Owen

In “Guardians,” Gogol is not priority number one for Nikita. Getting the black box is… and with Owen of all people. The lines were drawn tonight among Nikita and Michael supporters vs. Nikita and Owen supporters. If you were unaware of the hints that Owen has been dropping Nikita, the curtain has been drawn. Still, Owen’s pep talk to a broken down and distraught Nikita brought for one of the most moving scnes of the mid-season finale. Too bad Owen was captured shortly after Nikita said she didn’t want to hurt (directly or indirectly) anyone else. It’s the story of her life.

Hurting people to help sometimes is the way of the game, and for now it is. But if Nikita is genuine about this new approach of not doing such, the second half of the second season is sure to be even more thrilling than we are anticipating. Because we know Nikita’s style and game, it would be quite a metamorphosis to see Nikita really stop, take a look at what she’s doing, and evaluate her plan to make it work without hurt. That’s a bigger challenge than her given mission at hand, clearly. Hopefully Nikita will find her way by the end of the season. Only time will tell but the writers have done a fabulous job at showing Nikita realizing this conflict.

For an episode titled, “Guardians,” there sure seemed to be a lot more concern over Nikita as an individual than actually defeating the guardian to get to the black box. There was plenty of gunfire, an exhausting goose chase, an unfortnate police capture, and more. But all of that action honestly didn’t compare to the wonderful dialogue in this week’s episode, particularly in the moment that Nikita was speaking to Owen, as mentioned earlier. The revelation of Percy’s insider couldn’t have been held any longer. It was about time this come to light instead of us simply assuming so. The writers gave us just enough information about how Percy’s agenda is moving forward outside of Alex but there was a bigger revelation at hand tonight.

“There is a difference between dependence and trust.” – Nikolai

Alex was on a mission in Russia, ready to take down the man who killed her family. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find. Alex’s reunion with her mother in the final minute of the episode was the best moment of the night. What a way to leave us hanging! Xander Berkeley’s (Percy) real life wife, Sarah Clarke has a lot to deliver as Alex’s mom. If we thought season two was on fire, we haven’t seen anything yet. There is clearly plenty in store for the second half of the season. The thought, “How can this show get any better than it already is?” barely has time to make it out when game changers such as these come about. What wonderful cliffhanger. For anyone who was disappointed with very little Michael and very little Amanda in this episode, No Birkhoff, and no interaction between Nikita and Alex… Alex finding her mother may outweigh all of these elements.

It is no secret that season two of Nikita is significantly better than season one, but the bar has been raised again with this game changer Even if you predicted that Nikita’s mother was still alive, none of us can predict what she has been doing all of this time, why, and what comes next for mother and daughter. Even a mediocre episode can redeem itself in the end. New episodes in January cannot come soon enough.

Favorite Moment: Amanda’s facial expression and body language after Percy says, “Just like old times, isn’t it?” is priceless.

Nikita returns with all new episodes Friday, January 6, 2012 at 8/7c on The CW.

Exclusive Interview: Maggie Q Explores the Tough & Nurturing Sides of Nikita in Season 2

Nikita star Maggie Q recently spoke with BuzzFocus on changes to her character in Season 2.

In this interview, Maggie Q gives us the 411 on how her relationship with Michael (Shane West) and Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) will progress following the recent events on the show. She also tells us how difficult a few of the fight scenes have been this season and points out the train scene in the “Partners” episode. Maggie explains how much she was involved in planning out the scene and hints at plans to potentially direct a few fight scenes herself.

Often Nikita has to face tough choices, so we asked Nikita about a few tough decisions Nikita would have to make if her back were against the wall. Would she take a bullet for Alex? How important is Michael, really?

Check out the interview and let us know your thoughts on this season of Nikita.