The Assets Miniseries: ABC's Cold War Spy Drama Debuts This Week

We may have to go without Scandal until late February, but ABC isn’t leaving us without something new and potentially thrilling to watch on Thursday nights. The network’s eight-part miniseries The Assets is lined up to fill in for Scandal at 10:00 p.m. ET on Thursday nights, beginning tomorrow (January 2). Fans of spy stories involving Cold War settings (and fans of The Americans, probably) will want to check The Assets out when it premieres this week.

As the above sneak peek indicates, the series is set in the 80s — 1985 to be exact — and is based on the real life events of CIA counter-intelligence officer Sandy Grimes (Jodie Whittaker), who works alongside Jeanne Vertefeulle (Harriet Walter) to seek out a mole that would eventually turn out to be the most notorious traitor in U.S. History, Aldrich Ames (Paul Rhys).

Sandy is in a race against time to save the Soviet intelligence officers from being caught and killed. Living her own double life at home, this beautiful wife and mother vowed to stop at nothing until she uncovered the truth. "The Assets" will look inside the true, personal stories of the conclusion of the Cold War as told by the keepers of the nation’s secrets: the CIA.

Executive produced by Morgan Hertzan, Rudy Bednar and Andrew Chapman, The Assets stars Borgia’s Paul Rhys, along with Whittaker, Walter and Stuart Milligan. Also among the cast are Julian Ovenden, Christina Cole and Ralph Brown. The Assets is based on a book called Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed. Knowing just how destructive Ames was as a mole for the Soviet Union, it sounds like this miniseries will mix drama with history, delivering a story that could be as compelling and suspenseful as it is educational in its look back on the Cold War and America’s ongoing issues with the Soviet Union.

While this miniseries temporarily takes over the time-slot of Scandal, I’m thinking it’ll appeal more to fans of FX’s spy drama The Americans, which is set a bit earlier in the 80s and stars Keri Washington and Matthew Rhys — no apparent relation to Paul Rhys as far as we can tell, though they’re both from Wales — who play a married couple living in the U.S., posing as Americans, though they’re secretly Soviet spies. FX has The Americans set to come back for Season 2 on February 26, by which point The Assets should be wrapped up. So those looking to get their Cold War fix before then may want to check out The Assets when it debuts on ABC tomorrow night.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.