Given the popular nature of the beloved CW series, The Vampire Diaries, it’s not a surprise that a spinoff was made with the franchise. The first was, of course, The Originals, which follows the trials and tribulations of the very first vampires, who are embroiled in the supernatural world of New Orleans. This was due to the popularity of the character Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan), who is a hybrid of Original Vampire and werewolf introduced on The Vampire Diaries.
As the Mikaelson’s went through it throughout the various seasons of The Originals, there were some truly interesting things going on behind-the-scenes as well as in front of the camera. Granted, these probably weren’t as interesting as multiple hybrids, ascending vampires, and the birth of the first tribrid, but die-hard audiences still noted these details.
10 Nathan Parsons: Professional Supernatural Creature
It turns out that actor Nathan Parsons was pretty popular on the vampire show circuit. In 2014, the actor was pulling double duty as a series regular on HBO’s True Blood, where he played vampire James Kent in addition to a recurring role on The Originals, where he played exiled werewolf Jackson Kenner. So during 2014, Nathan Parsons could be seen in two separate supernatural dramas playing a character with the initials J.K.
After True Blood wrapped up its final season, Parsons would continue to play Jackson in The Originals until 2018. To really keep his genre star on the rise, he also appeared in season 7 of Once Upon A Time and stars in The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico as Max Evans.
9 The Originals Had Better Ratings Than The Vampire Diaries
In terms of ratings, The Originals actually did better than The Vampire Diaries. Now, of course, this is because The Originals was a fresh, new, mature, and more adult series than its parent show. While The Vampire Diaries did also mature with time some of the sillier and weirder elements of the story definitely lost fans as time went on. Looking at a comparison between the two series ratings, The Originals edged out its parent series fairly consistently.
8 Joseph Morgan as Voldemort?
Ralph Fiennes dominated the screen when he was cast as Voldemort in the Harry Potter film franchise. From his creepy movements to his creaky voice, it’s hard for audiences to imagine another actor in the role of the snakelike Dark Lord. Joseph Morgan, however, almost stepped into those shoes. Morgan had auditioned for the role of Voldemort in the film franchise, losing the role to Fiennes.
Despite that, he still cleaned up excellently by getting to play the role of Klaus Mikaelson, who went from an antagonistic force to an interesting morally grey character.
7 The Success Of The Originals Helped Birthed The Arrowverse
The Originals was something of an experiment for The CW series at the time. In that, executives were hoping to see if spinoffs of their most popular properties could viably work. If The Originals performed well, then they would look into potential other franchises, such as spinning off successful newcomer Arrow. The Originals exceeded expectations at the network, who gave the green light for a spinoff of Arrow, The Flash.
Without the success of The Originals, the Arrowverse shows probably wouldn’t exist in the capacity that most audiences know them. The Flash still remains one of the highest-rated series on The CW in its eighth season.
6 The Originals Was Paired With A Different CW Series
Usually, when networks set their schedules for the television season, they tend to be series together that would make sense watching back-to-back. The trick here is that they don’t want audiences going to another network. This appeared in such gimmicks as Shondaland Thursdays or Animation Domination. For The Originals, however, the series never quite found its match.
Over the course of five seasons, The Originals was paired with six different series: Supernatural (season 1), Jane the Virgin (season 2), The Vampire Diaries (season 3), Reign (season 4), and Riverdale/Burden of Truth (season 5).
5 The Originals Was Almost Set In Chicago
The Originals almost had a very different location for the series: Chicago. From a storytelling perspective, both New Orleans and Chicago make sense for this sort of location. Both cities have pretty dark and fascinating history which matches the equally dark and fascinating history of Mikaelson family. Still, going with New Orleans definitely makes more sense for a supernatural drama.
After all, New Orleans is, possibly, one of most mystically inclined cities in the world. A lot of the ghost stories and urban legends coming from New Orleans tend to have a supernatural bent on some level that matches the energy of The Originals.
4 Daniel Gillies Starred On Another TV Show At The Same Time
To audiences of The Vampire Diaries universe, Daniel Gillies will always be Elijah Mikaelson. At the same time as he was originating this iconic role, Gillies was pulling double-duty on the Canadian medical drama, Saving Hope. From 2012-2015 on Saving Hope, Gillies played one of the main characters, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joel Gordan. He was also a potential love interest to main character Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance).
Eagle-eyed viewers of The Originals will note that Gillies’ time as a main character on Saving Hope overlapped with his time on The Originals. In a rare move, Gillies was able to work out being a series regular on both shows without missing an acting beat on either.
3 How Charles Michael Davis Got His Role
The Originals had a solid cast outside of the Mikaelsons, who were introduced in The Vampire Diaries. At the top of the list? Charles Michael Davis as Marcel, Klaus’ former vampiric protégé that he had also turned. Believe it or not, the actor tried his hardest to get cast on The Vampire Diaries, but it just never went anywhere. According to Davis, he had auditioned for the series multiple times and never booked a role.
It wasn’t until he was talking to a friend who was a unit producer on The Originals that he got an audition for Marcel. Thus, television history was born.
2 Josh Rosza Was Supposed To Die Much Earlier
The Originals creator Julie Plec intended to kill newly turned vampire Josh Rosza (Steven Kruger) back in season 1. The writers room, however, argued against killing Josh off so early in the series. His character stuck around for five seasons of The Originals, but Plec got that death she wanted in the end. In the very bloody and body count heavy series finale, Josh was killed via an injection of Marcel’s venom.
There was a happy-ish ending for Josh though. In the afterlife, he was reunited with his love, Aiden (Colin Woodell).
1 Changed The Game On The CW
It cannot be overstated how the success of The Originals changed the course of The CW forever. It was the network’s first truly viable and successful spinoff. Whether or not audiences think this has led to too many spinoffs on the network or not, the impact of the success of the series is still being felt today. Truly, The Originals had changed the game in showcasing how shared universes could work.
The series also proved how fan engagement could get things made. The Vampire Diaries viewers would make fan trailers for the hypothetical series before it was ever seriously being talked about. It was proof of concept, showing that what audiences want could actually drive franchises to more interesting and successful places.
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