Will The CW have two Vampire Diaries shows next season?
Maybe … maybe not: The Vampire Diaries spinoff pilot had a disappointing performance in the flagship show’s 8 p.m. slot last night. The Originals delivered 2.2 million viewers and a 0.9 among adults 18-49 last night. Not only did the episode not demonstrate a spike of interest — which is what you hope to see when debuting the pilot for a potential new series — the rating was down 10 percent from the show’s last episode. The hour was also down 31 percent from The Vampire Diaries‘ average this season.
The CW has several pilots in contention for next season with supernatural and sci-fi themes, so The Originals has some competition too. But it’s always easier for a network to launch a show that has a built-in audience than jump-start a concept from scratch, and a weak Vampire Diaries rating is still better than the vast majority of other CW shows. What fans say online about The Originals pilot (and how the network’s executive team feels about the project creatively) might have just as much impact on the series-order decision as how many viewers initially showed up. In other words: Semi-lousy ratings or not, a series pickup remains likely. UPDATE: The CW gives Originals a series order.