The CW Orders Backdoor Pilot for 'Vampire Diaries' Spinoff, 'The Originals'

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January 11th, 2013

The CW has decided to move forward with a backdoor pilot for a Vampire Diaries spinoff that could expand the franchise into two separate series next year. Currently titled The Originals, the backdoor pilot will air as part of the current season of The Vampire Diaries on April 25. The story will center around the original vampire family and stars Joseph Morgan as Klaus and Phoebe Tonkin.


  • Richard Steven Hack

    My take: This has potential, but also the potential to “die very badly”. Obviously they need to have other members of the Originals in the cast besides Klaus. What they’re talking about here is a PILOT centering on Klaus. If they actually do a spin off show, obviously they’ll have the rest of the Originals appearing. If it’s set in the current day, they could also have guest appearances by the TVD cast.

    I’d look forward, for example, to seeing Sebastien Roche as Michael in the spinoff.

    Exactly how Phoebe fits in is not clear. At the moment she’s just a werewolf with connections to Tyler (and the creepy professor). There’s no relation to Klaus per se. However, since Phoebe is smokin’ hot, it’s obviously a good idea to put her on the show. Her acting is certainly adequate if not impressive. She chewed scenery impressively on TSC whereas the rest of the TSC cast were fairly bland.

    This show could end up being similar to the old “Highlander” show, in that there could be episodes set throughout the history of the Originals and flashbacks to seminal events in their history. They wouldn’t have to be limited to just the period from the Civil War to today in the case of the Salvatores.

    I tend to agree that Klaus as a villain has somewhat overstayed his welcome on TVD. It wouldn’t hurt to have him go away for a while. But my guess is he won’t until at least next season. The problem is how to replace him with another “big bad” that actually works.

  • Bizarro

    Um, we don’t know if B&TB is ending yet but it does look like the CW is trying to kill of Beauty like they did with Ringer with a severe long hiatus. I don’t get why Beauty has to come back a week after TVD returns! I glad it won Best New Network Drama though. It shows that I’m not the only one that think that Beauty is getting really good. Also Beauty could move to Fridays next season with Nikita in its final season. Which I will be happy to see it go with its woeful ratings.

  • getmilk

    What a horrible idea. Lol. Everyone watching TVD is waiting for them to kill off Klaus of the rest of the originals. They’ve overstayed their welcome.

    I’m convinced Julie Plec is sleeping with Joseph Morgan and getting him his own show as a favor.


  • luisl


    I think they’re setting something with Phoebe Tonkin and her family. Maybe she is descendant of Klaus werewolf dad.

    And regarding the villain, thay shouldn’t be a problem, Katherine is coming as soon as Klaus leaves.

  • Jane Elliot

    No chance will I watch this show (unless Elijah plays a huge role), but if it gets Klaus out of Mystic Falls then I’m all for it.

  • ZmaX

    @ Bizarro

    The reason Beauty and the Beast returns a week after The Vampire Diaries is because this season TVD has 23 episodes while BatB has 22. So they need an extra week, it’s nothing personal against BatB.

  • Eric_Philly

    Hm… could work… if carefully managed.

  • Kavyn

    “Let’s take all the characters no one cares about on our top rated show, and put them in another show!”

    Kind of a smart idea actually, since some originals are fan favourites and they can refresh TVD at the same time, but if TSC couldn’t retain TVD’s fanbase it makes it hard for me to believe this new show will. I mean yes it’s in the same realm, but I imagine there’s other reasons besides the quality of the following shows as to why people tune out after TVD ends. Is doing the same thing they did these past two years (taking in a pilot just because it could work with TVD) really a smart idea right now? Or is 2 hours of TVD really a good idea?

  • chris

    I do not think cw is being lazy by making a spinoff. I believe that Originals could be a self starter like vD and Arrow were. However it would make sense to maybe premiere it at 9 after vd . It would be nice to try and branch out 4 solid nights but I guess CW will be taking Baby steps. I think this is a great move by CW and spinoff shows are not always a failure. VD has a loyal following and will check out The Originals as I will.

    If Cult or Carrie become solid ratings shows, it would be nice and easier to plan out a schedule for the 13-14 season. I’m going to check out the premiere of cult, but I’m afraid with it airing after anemic hart of dixie on Tuesday Nights it will be the next Emily Owens.. Hopefully strong buzz revolves around the show. I know the main character in cult played Alaric on Vampire Diaries so hopefully a lot of vd fans will check it out because of him.

  • David Howell

    Spinoffs have worked a charm for the CBS franchises in the last decade, so I’m not surprised they’re trying to repeat the trick with the CW’s biggest (only?) hit. Interesting move airing it in this way.

  • Dan

    This could be a smart move if done right. The whole story about the Originals was good but they kept it too long on The Vampire Diaries with too much detail. On the one hand they now can’t just let it go and kill off Klaus just like that, but on the other hand the show needs to move past this and trim its cast. The Vampire Diaries really has become The Originals.
    This move would suit everyone and give The CW one big Vampire Diaries night with characters crossing over that might work on one show, but simply can’t become part of the core characters so they can move it to another. It would also expand the lore for both shows.

  • Dan

    Also adding Phoebe Tonkin is a smart move. She clearly was a fan fave on the Secret Circle.

  • r0ckmypants

    @Brandy – Your reasoning isn’t exactly sound, considering The Carrie Diaries is set in the 80s and it was picked up to series. Valley Girls never got ordered because it was terrible, plain and simple.

  • JJA

    I’m not so sure about this particular spin-off idea. I think they’re in danger of over-using Klause (just like Supernatural has done with Castiel).

    Regarding Pheobe Tonkin, I think the CW should use her instead as the lead in Embrace or Amazon (provided one of these pilots get picked-up).

    As for a possible Supernatural spin-off, I think the obvious option would be a Ghostfacers series. Logistically, it seems that it would be very easy for the CW to make it happen, and it could probably attract fans of campy science fiction (i.e., Eureka fans, for example).

  • Dahne

    I don’t watch Vampire Diaries but I think this is a great move by Mark Pedowitz. Vampire Diaries is their most successful show and no show besides Supernatural has done even decently airing behind it. If the Originals doesn’t work, then it is time to move Vampire Diaries back an hour and put a new show on before it instead of after.

    As for Supernatural, it is too late to do a spin-off in my opinion. I would still like a webseries though starring Bobby and Rufus as grumpy old hunters. Those two were hilarious.

  • Amy

    I love how this post is about The Originals but the picture chosen by TVBTN has no “originals” in it.

  • Melanie

    This is a great idea by the CW. I think the creative team for TSC made a mistake last season by not putting it in the same ‘universe’ as TVD to allow for crossovers and more audience sharing.

    So far, most of the TVD audience hasn’t stuck around for anyhing they’ve tried after it. Maybe more TVD will do the trick.

    Someone above asked about the potential SPN spin-off that Erik Kripke once mentioned — Old West/Sam Colt — as to what happened with it — nothing. Or rather Revolution happened. That’s what Erik is doing these days and I imagine he’s getting his western-vibe fix from it, so I wouldn’t look for that SPN spin-off or any SPN spin-off for that matter.

  • Tom

    @ Bizarro “…it does look like the CW is trying to kill of Beauty like they did with Ringer with a severe long hiatus….” B&B’s ratings plummeted to a 0.6 within the first three programs. I doubt if a hiatus matters. Ringer was long gone by mid season as well.

    “I glad it won Best New Network Drama though….” As Mr. Gorman pointed out in another thread, a PCA award has no effect on whether a series gets renewed. That’s because the results can be manipulated by ballot stuffing. I understand that B&B won by a margin of 10 million votes. That’s interesting only because the show itself only draws approx. 1.5 million weekly viewers. If I were in the CW’s public relation’s office, I’d much rather have seen the PCA go to Arrow. The latter has twice the demo and will still be around next season.

    “It shows that I’m not the only one that think that Beauty is getting really good.” This a phrase that’s recently come into its own among B&B fans. IMHO, it belongs at the top of their Fan Excuse Bingo cards. The idea seems to be that B&B has somehow improved even though the ratings are still stagnant. The more likely fact is that the B&B storyline has focused even more on those elements that caused viewers to abandoned the show within three episodes after its debut.

    “Also Beauty could move to Fridays next season with Nikita in its final season.” More Fan Excuse Bingo. There’s no indication that a 0.6 rated show like B&B would do better by being moved to Friday. It’s probably less likely because of the generally lower number of viewers. Furthermore, I haven’t seen any evidence that Nikita is being cancelled.

    It pains me to admit that Pedowitz et al. may finally have come up with a good idea in green lighting the Originals pilot. They certainly have the right actress in Phoebe Tonkin. More importantly, the CW desperately needs to get the low rated shows – including B&B – off its schedule. So, even if you have doubts about whether the Originals can succeed, this is a move that the CW can hardly afford pass up. After all, the worst that can happen is that the Originals sinks to B&B level ratings.

  • rehabber

    I am not a fan of the originals, except Elijah, so not doing backflips here. Would rather see a series with Castiel & Benny.

  • Nicole

    really? they are getting so desperate.. this is what it takes to get ratings for this network. The same show duplicated and probably on the same night. Wow.

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