- Nikita (TV series)
Nikita title card
Developed by Craig Silverstein Starring Maggie Q
Composer(s) David E. Russo Country of origin United States Language(s) English No. of seasons 2 No. of episodes 31 (List of episodes) Production Executive producer(s) Craig Silverstein
Producer(s) Marc David Alpert Editor(s) Mark C. Baldwin Location(s) Toronto, Ontario
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Cinematography David Stockton Running time 43 mins. approx. Production company(s) Warner Bros. Television
Wonderland Sound and Vision
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Broadcast Original channel The CW Picture format HDTV Original run September 9, 2010– present Chronology Related shows La Femme Nikita External links Website
Nikita is an American television drama that has aired on The CW Television Network since September 9, 2010 in the United States. Based on the French film Nikita (1990), the remake Point of No Return (1993), and a previous series La Femme Nikita (1997), the series focuses on Nikita (Maggie Q), a woman who escaped from a secret government-funded organization known as Division and, after three-year hiding period, is back with schemes to bring down the organization. The main cast also includes Lyndsy Fonseca, Shane West, Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke and Xander Berkeley.
In May 2010, Nikita was picked by The CW for the fall 2010–11 season. Initially with a 13-episode order, the series was later picked up for a full season, which would total 22 episodes. The CW aired the series after The Vampire Diaries on Thursday nights during the first season. In May 2011, Nikita was renewed for a second season, The CW moved Nikita to Friday nights, pairing it with Supernatural, beginning September 23, 2011.
The series earned numerous award nominations in 2011, in awards such as the American Society of Cinematographers, the People's Choice Awards, the Teen Choice Awards and the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.
The series centers on a secret government-funded organization known as Division. Recruiting young people with troubled backgrounds, Division erases all evidence of their past lives and molds them into efficient spies and assassins. Having broken away from the government, Division now performs operations for their own gain, hurting their country if need be. However, Nikita, a Division agent, has gone rogue after her fiancé is killed by Division. She makes it her mission to bring Division down.
On the outside, she trains a woman named Alex, who then becomes a recruit inside Division, working as a mole for her mentor. Having trained Nikita, Michael, a Division operative, is ordered by his boss and Division's leader, Percy, to deal with his former student. In the meantime, Division continues training its recruits and performing operations, unaware of Nikita's mole.
The series borrows many characters, or at least their names, from the 1997 television series La Femme Nikita. Maggie Q portrays Nikita, the protagonist and a former spy and assassin who has gone rogue and now plans to bring down Division. Q also performs her own stunts. Shane West plays Michael, a Division operative who trained Nikita. He sees Division and its recruits as a kind of "family" to him, the complete opposite of Amanda, portrayed by Melinda Clarke, Division's psychologist and a master manipulator. Seymour Birkhoff, Division's computer genius and head technician, is portrayed by Aaron Stanford. The head of Division is Percy, played by Xander Berkeley.
In the season 1 finale, audience is introduced to a Senator (named Madeline Pierce), played by Alberta Watson, who also played the part of a character named Madeline in the former La Femme Nikita series.
Lyndsy Fonseca portrays Alexandra "Alex" Udinov, a former street kid who was arrested after a robbery and later became Division's newest recruit. She is also a mole that Nikita is using to destroy Division from the inside. Other recruits include Jaden (Tiffany Hines) and Thom (Ashton Holmes) but their characters are later killed off by Nathan (Thad Luckinbill) and Alex respectively. Dillon Casey portrays Sean Pierce, an agent sent to Division directly from Oversight.
The CW had long been interested in an action-adventure series centered on a strong female character. On January 27, 2010, The CW ordered a pilot episode of Nikita. The 2010 television series is more closely tied to Luc Besson's 1990 French film Nikita than the 1997 television series, La Femme Nikita. However, the series does borrow many characters, or at least character names, from the previous television series.
During the 2010 Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles on July 29, 2010, executive producer Craig Silverstein said he was approached by Warner Bros. who owned the rights. Silverstein said, "My first thought was I love Nikita. My second thought was, 'it's been done.' Could it be done fresh? Could we have a take where you didn't know where this story would end?" As a result, two major changes have been made, one of which is the decision to have the story take place after Nikita has escaped. Maggie Q stated, "No one's told her story after the fact. No one knows where she is going." In addition, a new character, Alex, is introduced who has an unexpected backstory. The series is a mix of a weekly mission/counter-mission, and a story arc running through the first season that explores Nikita's relationships with Alex and Michael.
While presenting its 2010–11 season schedule on May 21, 2010, The CW officially confirmed the pick-up of the series and announced its intention to air Nikita after The Vampire Diaries on Thursday nights. In October, 2010, Entertainment Weekly announced that the series would receive some tweaking to attract more of a female audience, including a new character and potential love interest for Nikita. However, the network promised the core of the show would remain the same. Later that month, the show was picked up for a full season, which would total 22 episodes. The CW have admitted they took gambles this year but said they were "thrilled that [it] paid off for us."
On May 17, 2011 Nikita was renewed for a second season by The CW in the 2011–12 fall season. It was later announced that they would move the show to Friday nights at 8:00pm, pairing it with Supernatural, beginning Fall 2011. The second season will premiere on Friday, September 23, 2011.
On August 3, 2011, The CW ordered an additional episode for the second season, which will now total at 23.
In February 2010, Maggie Q was cast as Nikita. Executive producer Silverstein said casting Q was a simple and quick process, because they wanted someone who was beautiful, and could fight, and who you could believe holding a gun at the same time, and she was perfect. Later that month, Shane West was cast as Michael. In March, Lyndsy Fonseca was given the role of Alex. Silvertein commented the casting of Fonseca, saying she came in at the last moment but was cast because they liked her intensity. Later that month, Tiffany Hines was cast as Jaden and Xander Berkeley was added to the cast as Percy. In October 2010, Noah Bean gained a recurring role as Ryan Fletcher, a CIA case officer and analyst.
Casting for second season started on July 2011 when Dillon Casey was cast as Sean Pierce, an army Special Ops officer contracted to monitor Amanda's work at Division and recover the stolen black boxes. Casey was later promoted as a series regular. A month later, it was announced that Katheryn Winnick gained the role of Kelly, Nikita's former partner during her Division times.
The general reception of Nikita has been positive, with a large fanbase forming early in the first season. Metacritic reports that the average review score for the pilot episode was 66 out of 100, a reception which it ranks as "Generally favourable". Comparisons were made to Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. Critics had praise for Maggie Q in the lead role, the look of the show, solid action sequences, and an intriguing twist at the end, but noted that the dialogue needed some humor.
The pilot episode drew 3.57 million viewers on its initial broadcast. The CW broadcast an encore of the pilot the following day, which drew approximately 2.6 million viewers. The finale was seen by 1.94 million viewers. The first season averaged 2.40 million viewers and a 1.1 18–49 rating in live + day day DVR viewing per episode.
The following is a table for the seasonal rankings, based on average total estimated viewers per episode, of Nikita on The CW. "Rank" refers to how Nikita rated compared to the other television series which aired during prime time hours.
Season Timeslot (ET/PT) # Ep. Premiered Ended Rank Viewers Live+SD
Season 1 Thursday 9:00 pm 22 September 9, 2010 3.57 May 12, 2011 1.94 N/A 2.32 Season 2 Friday 8:00 pm 23 September 23, 2011 1.85 N/A N/A N/A N/A
In the UK, the show has been the most watched show for Sky Living every week that its fall episodes aired. When it returned from hiatus in the summer in a new Wednesday 9:00 PM slot, it finished fourth in the week. However, it was able to increase again in the following weeks.
Living secured the rights to air Nikita in the United Kingdom as the centerpiece of the channel's autumn schedule. Living's head of acquisitions Amy Barham said "Nikita is the hottest, most action-packed drama of the season with an amazingly strong female lead that we know will excite and engage Living's audiences this autumn. We're thrilled to be able to bring it exclusively to the channel. Chase will follow in 2011, providing a new favorite show for all of our procedural fans."
The first season of Nikita, distributed by Warner Bros. on DVD and Blu-ray, features all 22 episodes. It also includes deleted scenes, "Inside Division, Part 1: The New Nikita", "Inside Division, Part 2: Executing an Episode", "Profiling Nikita, Alex, Percy & Michael", audio commentaries and a gag reel as bonus features. The box-set has been released on August 30, 2011 in North America, on September 19, 2011 in Europe and October 26, 2011 in Australia.
Year Award Category Recipients Result Ref 2010 American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Cinematography in Episodic TV Series David Stockton ("Pilot") Nominated  2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Drama Nominated  Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series Nominated  Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show: Action Nominated  Choice TV Actor: Action Shane West Won Choice TV Actress: Action Maggie Q Nominated Lyndsy Fonseca Nominated
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Nikita Films TV seriesLa Femme Nikita (episodes) (1997–2001) • Nikita (episodes • characters) (2010–present) The CW Network programming 2000s debuts13: Fear Is Real · 4Real · 7th Heaven · Aliens in America · All of Us · Beauty and the Geek · The Beautiful Life: TBL · Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants · CW Now · The CW Sunday Night Movie · Easy Money · Everybody Hates Chris · Farmer Wants a Wife · The Game · Gilmore Girls · Girlfriends · Hidden Palms · Hitched or Ditched · In Harm's Way · Judge Jeanine Pirro · Life Is Wild · Melrose Place · One on One · Online Nation · Privileged · Pussycat Dolls Present: · Reaper · Reba · Runaway · Smallville · Stylista · The Tyra Banks Show · Valentine · Veronica Mars · WWE Friday Night SmackDown 2010s debuts Current90210 (since 2008) · America's Next Top Model (since 2006) · Gossip Girl (since 2007) · Hart of Dixie (since 2011) · Lifechangers (since 2011) · Nikita (since 2010) · One Tree Hill (since 2006) · Ringer (since 2011) · The Secret Circle (since 2011) · Supernatural (since 2005) · The Vampire Diaries (since 2009) UpcomingRe-Modeled (Midseason) · The Frame (Midseason)
- Complete CW List
- (current & upcoming)
- ABC (current)
- CBS (current)
- NBC (current)
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