Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Being a vampire is no picnic. This much has been made clear by the CW bloodsuckers-in-high-school series The Vampire Diaries. But how to move the concept forward? Julie Plec, showrunner of the Diaries spinoff The Originals, sank her teeth into it (so to speak) at a TCA morning panel in which she described how the new series will differ from the show that spawned it. “The Originals isn’t about struggling to be a vampire,” she said, “but about embracing vampirism. It’s about the power of the family community and the power struggle over the family community and the supernatural community of an entire city.” She then gave an analogy: “You might look at it like, we graduated high school and went to college, and now they’re getting their master’s degree in The Originals.” One critic wanted to know how an adult viewer who never watched Vampire Diaries or cared about the Twilight series might care about The Originals. Plec admitted that bringing in new, more adult viewers is “one of the most difficult tasks we’ve had to do creatively — to have a show that stands on its own and doesn’t have to rely creatively on the foundation of the mothership, so to speak. That can draw an audience that hasn’t seen a frame of Vampire Diaries.” And? “All I can say is we work hard every day to make sure that a new audience can join the show and follow along with everyone else the first time they see it,” she said.