Aly Michalka and Hellcats: A first look

Sep 8, 2010 at 6:05 p.m. ET

Aly Michalka and the CW are set to kick off the fall TV season with a little school spirit courtesy of their new series, Hellcats. Beware, this series takes cheerleaders to a whole new level.

Aly Michalka

The CW network is putting the cheer back in cheerleader with Hellcats. The new in your face drama might look like just another cheerleading story, but it may just surprise you. According to the CW network, Hellcats is more of a coming-of-age story than a teen drama.

Hellcat's is one-part Bring It On, one-part Save the Last Dance and all parts heart, in my opinion.

The new fall series focuses on Marti Perkins, played by Aly Michalka. Perkins is a pre-law student at Lancer University who loses her scholarship and must rely on buried gymnastics skills to make the school's Hellcats cheerleading squad and snatch the scholarship that comes with it.

After proving she has the skills to be a Hellcat, Perkins is thrust into the drama-filled world of college cheerleading, complete with backstabbing, boys and competition. Add Ashley Tisdale as Savannah Monroe, Perkins' peppy and petite roommate -- not to mention the Hellcats captain -- and you have a recipe for some great on-screen catfights.

Hellcats star Aly Michalka recently told, "It's not about cheerleaders looking sexy and shaking pom-poms all the time. It's about the competitive aspect, how dangerous it is and the fact that these girls are counting on each other to bring it when they're out there on the field."

As for the stunts, 21-year-old Aly Michalka has a background in street dancing and hip-hop but she leaves the real moves to the pros. "The cheerleading and the gymnastics are being taken care of with actual stunt doubles when it comes to anything that's dangerous. Otherwise actors going up in the air may not be coming back down, but might be hitting the floor."

Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale might lead the CW to an early hit with Hellcats. What could give the series the added edge is its comparison to reality. In this day and age, try to find a person who isn't utilizing skills they hate to make ends meet.

Can't wait to see what the CW and Hellcats have in store? Check out this preview and watch the series premiere September 8 at 9 pm.

Hellcats preview