Why The Originals Hasn't Been Renewed For Season 5 Yet

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The CW went on a renewal spree this past weekend, ordering additional seasons for many of its primetime series. One program that didn't get the renewal order along with the rest is The Originals. The Vampire Diaries spinoff has won a loyal fanbase over the years, and those fans shouldn't start to panic just yet at the lack of a Season 5 renewal. According to CW President Mark Pedowitz, The Originals' fate is still up in the air for one simple reason. He had this to say about the future of The Originals and showrunner Julie Plec at The CW:

Julie [Plec] and I spoke ahead of time about this. The Originals has not yet premiered for the season. It'll probably be a discussion in May. I'm a big Julie Plec fan. I'm hoping The Originals will continue. A lot of it will depend on performance.

The Originals premiered in the fall for its first three seasons, and fans could usually count on news of a renewal or cancellation along with a slew of other CW shows. However, Season 4 was pushed back for a spring premiere date, so The CW simply doesn't have any ratings numbers to gauge whether the show still has enough of an audience to warrant another season. Mark Pedowitz' explanation at the TCA press tour (via EW) should help allay some of Originals fans' fears about the future of the series. He didn't guarantee a Season 5, but he's clearly still on board to continue working with Julie Plec.

Season 4 will be the first time that a season of The Originals airs without parent series The Vampire Diaries also on the CW lineup. The Vampire Diaries will air its series finale the week before The Originals returns in March. It should be interesting to see whether or not the end of The Vampire Diaries has any effect on the ratings for The Originals. The Vampire Diaries Season 8 is currently averaging 0.97 million viewers and a 0.37 in the valuable 18 - 49 age demographic, which is nearly the same as the .93 million and 0.38 demo averaged by The Originals Season 3. The Originals may not get much of a boost from any Vampire Diaries fans looking for more vamp action after the show comes to an end.

That said, any Vampire Diaries fans who don't already watch The Originals may want to tune in for Season 4. At least one Vampire Diaries character is already confirmed to reprise his role for The Originals. Matt Davis will appear in Season 4 as Alaric. So far, no other Vampire Diaries characters are confirmed to appear on The Originals Season 4, but that may change after the series finale reveals the fates of the major characters. After all, Julie Plec may not have minded giving away that Alaric will survive, but she certainly wouldn't want to spoil whether or not characters like Stefan, Damon, Caroline, and Bonnie live past the Vampire Diaries series finale. We may learn that more character crossovers are in the works for The Originals Season 4 once The Vampire Diaries Season 8 comes to an end.

You can catch the Season 4 premiere of The Originals on Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to see all that you can watch in the meantime.

It's unfortunate that The Originals was cancelled. However, if you are looking to add the series to your dvd or blu-ray collection, you can check that out here (opens in new tab).

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.