ByMichael Patterson, writer at
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Michael Patterson

Back in 2013 when we all found out that the CW's hit series would be getting a spin-off show, it's safe to say we are very excited. Fast forward four years and The Vampire Diaries is about to bid us farewell as The Originals begins its fourth season. And after a lot of anticipation about the spin-off show's future, now it has been confirmed that The Originals will return to our screens on Friday March 17, 2017.

However, the show's late return date raises a lot of questions. After all the season began back in September, with the network's main shows Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and The Vampire Diaries all returning in October. Moreover, other regular shows such as The 100 and newcomers like Riverdale are set to air midseason. Thus, the question is — why has The Originals been held off until March? And what does this mean for the future of the vampire series?

The End Of The Originals

The Originals has been a big part of the CW's history. It received fantastic reviews during its premiere year, with many fans citing that it was much stronger than its own parent show The Vampire Diaries. However, by the start of Season 2, the ratings had begun to slip, and although they held steady, they weren't quite reaching the heights of other shows on the network.

'The Originals' is a big part of The CW's history, but is this the end? (via The CW)
'The Originals' is a big part of The CW's history, but is this the end? (via The CW)

Furthermore, when The Originals began, The Vampire Dairies was still very much the CW's biggest hit, and thus it benefited greatly from being associated with the series. However, the network has adapted since then, and we have moved into a new era, with The CW being primarily known as the home of DC's superheroes. And this is only highlighted by the fact that The Vampire Dairies is currently in the middle of its final season.

With both shows suffering from falling ratings, and the fact that The Originals has been ambiguously absent from both the CW's fall schedule and their early midseason lineup, it might signal that the network is planning to drop the curtain on the entire Vampire Diaries universe by the end of the season. With its parent show ready to bow out, perhaps the long-awaited fourth season of The Originals just might be its last.

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The Originals Will Fill The Vampire Void

To say that The Vampire Diaries put the CW on the map would be an understatement. It became a juggernaut for network, consistently bringing in incredible ratings for the better part of six years. However, after a less than stellar fifth season and Nina Dobrev's Season 6 departure, it lost that crown to The Flash — and the umbrella of DC shows. But it has still been holding its own on Friday nights as it prepares to bow our after its 16 episode long eighth and final season.

'The Vampire Diaries' put the CW on the map and its finale will mark the end of an era. (The CW)
'The Vampire Diaries' put the CW on the map and its finale will mark the end of an era. (The CW)

Judging by The Vampire Diaries return date and The Originals' unusual season premiere date, it seems that The CW is lining up The Originals up to replace its parent show when it bows out once and for all. Its expected that the final episode of The Vampire Diaries will air on Friday 10 March, 2017, leaving a wide open slot in the schedule — which will be filled by The Originals the following week.

And the series itself is more than capable of filling that spot. We're no longer at the stage where spin-off shows must rely on their originator for support. In fact, The Vampire Diaries current ratings are similar to those of The Originals Season 3. Thus, what started off as a companion spin-off series could very well end up filling the rather large Vampire Diaries shaped hole in The CW's schedule for years to come.

Will Klaus be King of the Vampires for many more years on the CW?
Will Klaus be King of the Vampires for many more years on the CW?

Despite ambiguity over the CW's decision to hold The Originals' Season 4 premiere off for so long, we now know that our favorite New Orleans vamps will be back in March. With Klaus and the Mikaelson clan set to replace the beloved Salvatores of Mystic Falls when its parent series The Vampire Diaries bows out once and for all, we have to wonder if it marks the end of The Originals too. After all, it could be argued that the show shouldn't go in without its predecessor.

However, much like Angel outlasted Buffy, The Originals has since gone on to become its own entity, and even without The Vampire Diaries, it has the power to keep going. And we just might see Klaus tearing up our TV screens on Friday nights for many more years to come.

Check out the Season 4 trailer for The Originals below:

The Originals Season 4 premieres on Friday 17 March 2017 on The CW. Do you think it will be its final season? Let us know in the comments!


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