So-so ratings for the planted Originals spinoff episode of The Vampire Diaries last night didn’t deter the CW from proceeding with the project as a series. The network just gave its first new-series order for next season to The Originals, which had enjoyed strong support among CW brass. Additionally, the network has given early renewals to sophomore drama Hart Of Dixie and freshman Beauty And The Beast, which join previously picked up The Vampire Diaries, Arrow and Supernatural. Missing from the list are Nikita, which still appears likely for a final 13-episode cycle, and The Carrie Diaries, also likely to get a renewal despite tame ratings. Beauty And The Beast too has been lagging in the ratings department, but the reboot of the 1980s series was a pet project for CW president Mark Pedowitz, and its renewal assures that there is one returning show on the CW schedule next season that hails from CBS TV Studios, one of the two studios that supply the network. Additionally, digital play weighs much heavier on the CW brass’ renewal decisions than other networks because of the CW’s rich deals with Netflix and Hulu.
“As soon as we saw last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, we knew we wanted more of The Originals — Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson have done a fantastic job with The Vampire Diaries, which is as fast-paced and well-written as ever, and Julie has created an equally compelling world for The Originals,” said Pedowitz. “We’re also very excited to bring back Beauty And The Beast and Hart Of Dixie for next season — both series continue to be creatively strong and compelling, and their fans are incredibly passionate.” With The Originals pickup, Plec, who is behind the spinoff, has two series on the CW next year. Additionally, she executive produces with Arrow‘s Greg Berlanti the hot CW pilot Tomorrow People. Williamson too won’t have to fret as both of his shows have received early renewals, Vampire Diaries and Fox’s The Following.