In a little over a month, The CW will announce their 2013-2014 schedule, and unless the backdoor pilot airing on April 25 goes very poorly, it’s a safe bet that The Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals will be part of that schedule.
A spin-off featuring Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and his family of original vampires, such a series will surely expand The Vampire Diaries world. The Originals will probably be a lock for the Thursday-at-9PM post-TVD timeslot… but is that necessarily a good thing?
In the past two years, The CW has seen significant drops in the ratings at 9PM for shows that should be slam-dunks for keeping the Vampire Diaries audience. The Secret Circle even shared some producers and had a similarity in that both shows were based on books by LJ Smith. TSC only lasted one season.
Beauty And The Beast, while having a fan base of its own (as Secret Circle also did), doesn’t seem to keep the Vampire Diaries eyes either, at the end of the day, despite also featuring a raven haired beauty who can fall in love with someone who is a monster from time to time.
So what gives?
My speculation is that The Vampire Diaries fans are likely tuning out at 9PM. Why keep the TV on when we’ve got to discuss how [insert character name] got his or her neck snapped this week? Even if The Originals is set in the same universe, and it will share a fan base for sure, 2 hours of Vampire Diaries Universe goodness might be too much of a good thing. Now, I think it would be smart business to preview The Originals after a Vampire Diaries season premiere, perhaps; but this is a great opportunity to build on a new night.
My outside-the-box recommendation that should probably go in the “they’ll never do that” folder, especially after the recent failure of Cult on the night, would be to put The Originals on Friday nights. Yes, people… especially The CW audience… go out on Friday nights. But give them a reason to stay in, and they’ll stay in. Heck, Smallville in its later years, airing on Friday nights, still had better ratings than most of the current CW schedule. The Originals on Friday could also help out whatever else they put on the night, whether it’s the final season of Nikita or a second year of Beauty And The Beast. Finally, there’s the added bonus that new episodes of The Originals on Friday could be promoted heavily during the previous night’s Vampire Diaries.
It’s possibly an insane prospect, but one I think The CW should think about. The Originals, unless it’s awful, could be appointment television no matter where they put it… so why not use that rare opportunity?
As for Thursdays at 9, I’d like to see The CW going as different from The Vampire Diaries as possible… hey, it worked for Season 1 of Nikita. With that said… The 100 is one of The CW’s best scripts this year. Just saying. It would definitely benefit from such a good lead-in, and it might even pick up some folks who aren’t already watching TVD.
When would you like to see The Originals on The CW Fall schedule?