TV spinoffs -- you’ve argued their existence, scoffed at those who watch them, but at the end of it all, everyone’s begrudgingly watched an episode or two. We know; we have the ratings to prove it!
The Vampire Diaries first aired in 2009 to strong ratings. The beautiful cast along with the ever popular vampire and werewolves theme was a massive hit among The CW's core audience of teenagers and young women. Initially, lukewarm critical reception turned more positive over time as well, and the show has a broad base of support across the United States. As seen in this graph, over the course of its run the show has garnered loyal support from Utah, Hawaii and New York.
The Vampire Diaries started with a high of 4.91 million viewers according to Nielsen records. However, the same cannot be said for the show’s spin-off. The Originals, first aired in 2013, was received with a viewership of 2.21 million despite following the fifth season premiere of The Vampire Diaries in the prime time slot.
Google Trends reports show that even at the highest point of interest, The Originals has always been a few steps behind the parent show, getting less than half of the viewership. Interestingly, the loyal support for The Vampire Diaries seems to have spilt to the spin-off with viewership being concentrated in Hawaii, New York and Louisiana.
In a surprising turn, Chicago Fire announced its spinoff series after just one season on the air. Chicago PD is, as are most spin-offs, a few steps behind the parent show, but it has come close to matching the search traffic of its predecessor.
In its primetime slot, Chicago PD’s series premiere had a viewership of 8.59 million as opposed to Chicago Fire which had 6.61 million viewers in comparison. However, as the show progressed, so did the viewership. Chicago Fire season two notched up a viewership of 8.90 million. Not surprising that the majority of interest in both shows stem from Midwest, mainly Illinois.