The CW is piloting The Originals, a potential spinoff of the network’s flagship series The Vampire Diaries, in consideration for next season. The project, from Vampire Diaries co-creator/executive producer Julie Plec, will be introduced as an upcoming episode of Vampire Diaries that will air April 25, serving as a potential backdoor pilot. It stars popular Vampire Diaries cast member Joseph Morgan and the series’ recent addition Phoebe Tonkin. The Originals centers on the Original family of vampires, as Klaus (Morgan) returns to the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans — a town he helped build centuries ago — and is reunited with his diabolical former protégé Marcel. Tonkin also stars, reprising her Vampire Diaries character as werewolf Hayley that was introduced this past fall. Plec will write the backdoor pilot episode and executive produce Originals with Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo for Alloy, Warner Bros TV and CBS TV Studios. A potential involvement of Vampire Diaries co-creator/exec producer Kevin Williamson, who is busy with his Fox drama series The Following, is unclear.
The CW has long been mulling spinning off hit Vampire Diaries, now in its fourth season. For Tonkin, this marks the second time she would be headlining a series for the network and WBTV following her starring role in The Secret Circle.