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Backdoor Pilots » Hungry Screenwriter

Hungry Screenwriter

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Backdoor Pilots

For those who don’t watch “The Vampire Diaries” on a regular basis, tonight’s episode of TVD, entitled “The Originals,” finds Klaus (played by Joseph Morgan) traveling down to New Orleans after finding out that the witches in the French Quarter are plotting against him. Naturally, Klaus heads down to the Quarter, alongside his brother, Elijah (played by Daniel Gillies) in order to investigate.

This episode serves as a planted spinoff (also known as a backdoor pilot)….

A backdoor pilot is an episode of a current TV show that serves as the first episode of another, new TV show. The best example comes from “Private Practice” which  derived from Shonda Rhimes’ “Grey’s Anatomy”. The planted spin off was written by TVD’s show runner, Julie Plec. Julie is best known for “Kyle XY,”  “The Vampire Diaries,” and the upcoming CW teen drama, “The Tomorrow People”.  Her record looks amazing, but there is still some doubt amongst the fans. Backdoor pilots have a record of their own and it’s not necessarily a good one. Most planted spin offs  don’t see the light of day after their premiere date and go into the vault of wacky experiments never to be seen again.


Most backdoor pilots are written by the intended show runner, which in this case would be Julie Plec. Even though she wrote the episode, she won’t likely abandon her seat on TVD, but will probably be running back and forth between both shows.  Julie is ceding much of her Vampire Diaries responsibility to Caroline Dries, who has written previous episodes of “The Vampire Diaries” in the past. On “The Originals” side, Plec will be in charge, alongside TVD writer, Michael Narducci. A smart move from this fantastic team of writers as they keep it all in the family.

The 20th episode, in season 4, of “The Vampire Diaries”,”The Originals,” is meant to show fans and TV suits what we can expect if the CW picks up “The Originals” as its own separate spin-off.  Traditionally, studio or network executives decide which potential series make it to air. If “The Originals” pulls in enough interest among the audience, which the CW is already prepared to green light this spin off series, then we will likely be seeing more vampires, witches and werewolves on the small screen in October 2013.

CW isn’t the only network planning a spin off series. AMC is soon to follow with rumors of a “Breaking Bad” spin off starring Saul Goodman, the skeevy unorthodox lawyer. It seems like a new bandwagon is strutting down Hollywood…

Do you think “The Originals” will become a must watch show like its successor, “The Vampire Diaries”? Is there another show you think show have a spin off? Leave your comments below.

-Ayden

About the Author

This article was made by HS staffer, Ayden!
  • http://hungryscreenwriter.com AD

    One comes to mind right off the bat I’ll always wish existed… “Troy/Cruz”.

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