You can’t have high expectations when you schedule a series finale on Friday night between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In that context, the series closer of the CW drama Nikita did as well as could have …
Sadness and excitement marked the final Comic-Con panel for The CW‘s spy show Nikita, which is set to come to an end with a six-episode midseason wrap-up. “It’s bittersweet,” said showrunner Craig Silverstein, who was joined at Comic-Con by cast members Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca, Melinda Clarke, Aaron Stanford and Noah Bean. “I’m just glad we’re able to end it and bring it to a full close. Knowing that it’s going to finish lets us finish it with a period — hopefully an exclamation mark.”
The network’s decision to end the spy drama after three seasons came as a mixed blessing. Unlike many cancelled series, the cult hit will at least get to end with some closure. “My heart hurt because I have a very deep love for [the cast] and I’m going to miss them,” said Maggie Q. “We get to end this show with such integrity and with our heads high.” Filming on the fourth season is underway. The abbreviated run will accelerate the pace of Nikita‘s storytelling, said Silverstein. “What it means is you get right to the good stuff. [Most seasons] end with things happening one after the other, [but] that’s how we’re going to start this season.”
As expected, the CW announced today that the six-episode renewal for Nikita will mark the spy drama’s final installment. The pickup came after Nikita creator Craig Silverstein, who has a hot new pilot, Turn, at AMC, closed a deal for one last short order. Nikita‘s final chapter, which is yet to be scheduled, will bring the series full circle, with Nikita (Maggie Q) once again on the run as a hunted rogue for a murder she didn’t commit as she attempts to clear her name as well as spare the people she loves. The pickup is part of CW president Mark Pedowitz’s efforts to give the network’s long-running series a satisfying ending for fans. Nikita, a very modest performer on Friday night, has had solid digital play and ranks as one of the CW’s top series on social media. It also has been a strong international seller for producing studio Warner Bros TV.
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And just like we predicted a month ago, the CW has renewed all of its existing series. The last to get the nod today are The Carrie Diaries and Nikita. The network is not confirming the sizes of the pickups, but Carrie’s is automatically a 13-episode order as it is a midseason show, and I hear Nikita will return for a six-episode cycle. I had heard that could be the final chapter for Nikita, though if the limited event series format works, the CW may leave the door open to additional installments. The network had been looking to break into the limited series format for the last couple of seasons. Carrie Diaries and Nikita join previously renewed Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Hart Of Dixie and Beauty And The Beast.
The CW‘s midseason drama The Carrie Diaries wraps its 13-episode freshman season tonight. With its pedigree as an offshoot from one of most recognizable media franchises of the last 20 years, Sex And The City, it was expected to be a slam-dunk. Instead, Carrie Diaries started slow and is finishing its run on the bubble. But while its TV ratings alone would’ve likely pushed the series toward cancellation, Carrie Diaries‘ very strong online play including on Hulu is making the renewal a possibility. What’s more, besides the three shows the CW already cancelled this season — veteran 90210 and freshmen Emily Owens MD and Cult — there is a chance that the CW returns all of its other series including Hart Of Dixie, Nikita, Beauty And The Beast and Carrie Diaries in some shape or form, including limited runs. (The CW’s strongest series, Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and veteran Supernatural, were already renewed in February.)
More than other networks’ series, the online performance of CW shows, most of which are serialized, plays an important part in the net’s renewal decisions. After all, episode streaming provides a key revenue stream for the CW. In addition to commercial-loaded play on the the network’s website, the CW’s current series are available on Hulu under a five-year, $75-million deal, while previous seasons of CW shows are on Netflix as part of the eye-popping four-year, $1 billion pact the two companies inked in late 2011. The Netflix deal in particular represents an incentive for the CW to keep shows on the air longer because that raises interest in previous seasons as evident by such current serialized cable series as Breaking Bad, whose older seasons became blockbuster hits on Netflix.
As it picked up five new drama series, the CW also has renewed its strongest bubble series, Gossip Girl, Nikita and Hart of Dixie. It will be the final season for Gossip, third for Nikita and second for …