It is premiere week on The CW, that traditional time for a few of their proven favorites and new offerings to be showcased at least a week or two before the other networks. Up this week, America’s Next Top Model, new show Hellcats, The Vampire Diaries, and another new show whose name might be familiar but with a tone that is anything but. That show is Nikita, a continuation of sorts of the La Femme Nikita franchise of the 1990s.
“The difference is that this tells the part of the story that no one’s seen before. This tells the story about Nikita after she’s already left the agency, after she’s escaped,” said executive producer Craig Silverstein at our press roundtable session at Comic-Con in July. “She’s being hunted by the agency that created her. She’s trying to take them down at the same time. And as we’re following that story we’re also following the story of a new young recruit who’s brought into to replace her.”
The CW is no stranger to rebooting old '90s' franchises and giving them a new spin. Still, Nikita is quite different than the soapy fare of 90210 and Melrose Place. Why this franchise?
“They were looking for a female, kick-ass action show, their Alias they wanted,” explained Silverstein. “Warner Brothers owns Nikita and the rights to the name. It was just up to me to try to figure out a take that was different enough, that it wasn’t a straight redo.”
Don’t go looking for this version of Nikita to be a copy of its predecessors. Silverstein made it clear they’re taking a fresh approach and shooting for something different. “You’re getting the origin story and you’re getting the sequel. You don’t know how this story is going to end, you don’t know where this story is going. That’s what made me comfortable enough to write it, otherwise it was like ‘it’s all done.’”
Series' star Maggie Q couldn’t agree more about the direction the writers are going, “They’ve given us almost every single tool possible to make this the best it can be. For me, working with them and our vision for something very new. The CW’s viewership is quite young and there’s a lot of people who don’t know anything about Nikita, never seen the original film, which makes me feel really old. Because of that I think that it’s important to understand that you’re starting fresh with a lot of people while having to pay homage to a film that most people really loved when they saw it.”