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Nikita Avenges Her Way Into Viewers’ Hearts

Are you ready for some football? If not, are you ready for female spies who favor red bikinis and elaborate fight scenes? Apparently those two things account for most of last night's readiness: Despite the unexpectedly huge tune-in for NBC's NFL kickoff Thursday, the CW's most-hyped series of the fall, Nikita, did quite well at 9 p.m., attracting 3.6 million viewers. Even better for the young-skewing network, the non–Femme Nikita gave the CW its best-ever numbers in the time slot among women under 35, and actually attracted more viewers than its lead-in, The Vampire Diaries (which returned for its second season with a healthy 3.3 million viewers). All this pretty good news for the CW came on a night when NBC's Viking-Saints matchup gave NBC what appears to be, at least in early ratings projections, the best prime-time NFL Nielsen numbers in thirteen years. Unfortunately for both the CW and NBC, however, last night's prime-time conditions won't last long: The Peacock will soon start airing its very funny but — save for The Office — not high-rated comedies, while the CW will have to face off against such daunting regular season competition as Grey's Anatomy, CSI, and The Big Bang Theory.

Photo: The CW