femme fatales Cinemax taps 'Femme Fatales': Zap2it has noir suggestionsCinemax has given a series order to “Femme Fatales,” a late-night program that will showcase noir-style mysteries with strong female leads, according to the Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed.

The show will have a “strong erotic quality,” but not fall into the “Skinemax”-type programming that the channel is known for.

“We have
an opportunity to tell some sexy and thrilling stories that all
have powerful women,” says Bob
, senior VP creative affairs.

The show’s co-creator and co-executive producer Mark A. Altman (“Castle”) says the show will feature a mysterious narrator, sort of “a sexy Rod Serling” from “The Twilight Zone,” and they hope that the show will attract different big name directors who want to tell stand-alone mysteries.

Here’s our short list for the narrators, leads and directors:

A sexy yet buttoned-up weekly guide into the noir world of femme fatales? Our top choices are “Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks and movie star Catherine Zeta-Jones. Like the classic femme fatales Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner, we think Christina and Catherine’s smoking good looks coupled with their sultry voices and va-va-voom curves make them excellent choices to take us deep into the sultry word of erotic female mysteries each week.

This list could be endless (give it up for strong, hot females) but our top choices are Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kristen Bell, Zoe Saldana, Mary-Louise Parker, Maggie Q, Aisha Tyler and Elizabeth Ho.

Gellar and Bell have already played girls who kicked butt on “Buffy” and “Veronica Mars.” And we miss them dearly as those pint-sized crime fighters. Give them some Lana Turner waves and let them lose solving mysteries. “Scooby Doo,” this is not.

We hope Saldana could find it in her busy “Avatar” schedule to drop by for an episode. She’s been a fierce female since she first burst on the scene as the prickly Eva Rodriguez in “Center Stage,” so she could certainly carry a stand-alone mystery.

Maggie Q (“Nikita”) and Parker (“Weeds”) may already play femme fatale-like ladies on their respective shows but Cinemax could take it to a different level. Instead of the modern staples of their shows (technology, marijuana), we’d love to see them class it up with smoky eyes, ’40s-style dresses and cigarette cases. No man could resist their investigative skills.

But our list wouldn’t be complete with a couple dark horse picks. How about Aisha Tyler and Elizabeth Ho on the top of the list. Tyler hasn’t been seen much since her season on “Ghost Whisperer” and Ho (“Melissa & Joey,” “Castle”) is a relative unknown. But unlike the firecrackers-in-small-packages suggestions, these are the statuesque beauties. Tyler is an Amazonian 6’0 and Ho looks to be about 5’9, judging from her pictures on “Miami Medical.” Sometimes we like a little size with our femme fatales — keeps the men around them on their toes.

The first group that comes to mind is the “Grindhouse” list of directors — Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie. Throw in “Sin City” director Frank Miller and “L.A. Confidential” director Curtis Hanson, plus up and coming Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”) and a woman’s touch with Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”) and Julie Taymor (“Across the Universe”) and you’ve got one helluva show.

Who are some of your top choices for the new Cinemax show “Femme Fatales”?

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Photo credit: Getty, 20th Century Fox Television

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."