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This fall the team behind The Vampire Diaries is adding a whole new night of supernatural drama and romance to the small screen with the premiere of The Originals, a spin-off series that will feature Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah on their own in New Orleans.

Julie Plec, the executive producer behind both bloodsucker dramas, talked about the challenges of launching a spin-off series during The Vampire Diaries panel at the Austin Television Festival over the weekend. The goal, Plec said, is to allow new viewers into the world of The Originals while still acknowledging the history that the characters have in Mystic Falls.

“Klaus has a history with a girl, and Rebecca’s just come off a whirlwind summer tour through Europe with Matt. So there are connections and elements from Mystic Falls and from The Vampire Diaries universe that remain very much alive in The Originals,” Plec told fans. “And so our writer challenge is how to introduce those elements into The Originals so that fans of bothThe Originals and The Vampire Diaries and new viewers will be equally as engaged.”

And speaking of Klaus and his “history” with a girl, what will Hayley’s (Phoebe Tonkins) pregnancy mean for the long-simmering potential romance between Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Caroline (Candice Accola)? “Hayley is by no means the Cinderella in the Klaus love story,” the EP revealed.

“Hayley’s a girl who’s a pretty tough, fiery, independent spirit in her own right who got drunk, had sex, and got knocked up. So she’s gonna have her own journey. She’s not really meant to be a threat to Klaus’ love life. If anything, she’s the portal into his redemption.”

While The Originals will definitely be its own show with its own storylines, Plec has plans to blend the two series from time to time. “I, for one, would like to see some of these characters show up in New Orleans and have the characters from The Originals find their ways back to Mystic Falls for something as well.”

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When “Vampire Diaries” fans saw the pilot for “The Originals” spinoff, they were shocked to learn that Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is pregnant.

When she and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) had a drunken encounter — fueled more by boredom than by any actual interest in each other — they never expected to need protection, since vampires can’t get sick, and can’t procreate. Turns out, though, hybrid vampires can procreate.

Oops.

It was surprising to the actors as well as the fans, but Tonkin is taking it all in stride. “I didn’t know I was going to play a pregnant woman! I’m excited, I’m going to eat ice cream, get into character,” she jokes.

There’s an old saying warning actors to avoid working with children and animals on set — but Tonkin has her fingers crossed that there will be a toddler hanging out on “The Originals” stages in Atlanta. “I want a little kid running around! I can babysit and hang out,” she says. “I was a nanny, so I feel like it’s my element, having a child on my hip.”

She’s not expecting any domestic bliss with Klaus, though. In fact, as a fan of “The Vampire Diaries” herself, Tonkin is hoping he ends up with someone else entirely. “Can I go, first, on the record, and say Team Klaroline,” she says. “Please. I’m on the team. I’m on the team!”

As Julie Plec told us, Tonkin reiterates that Klaus and Hayley aren’t going to fall in love while changing diapers. “I think that Hayley and Klaus got together not thinking it was going to go any further than that one night situation, and that’s life. Things come up. I think they’re going to deal with that, but I think it’s more about the child, and the issue of the pregnancy, as opposed to them being together in a relationship. I don’t really see that happening. But there’s a lot of other characters, and I’m sure Hayley will find someone to help her look after the child.”

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Another Vampire Diaries standout is headed to the potential spinoff series. Daniel Gillies is set to star opposite Joseph Morgan and Phoebe Tonkin in The Originals, which will be introduced as an upcoming episode of Vampire Diaries that will air April 25, serving as a potential backdoor pilot. All three are reprising their roles from the original series as the spinoff is keeping the three-lead — two vampire brothers and a girl — formula of Vampire Diaries. The only difference is that the female lead, Hayley (Tonkin), is not an ordinary teenager like Vampire Diaries‘ Elena but a werewolf. In addition to his recurring role on Vampire Diaries, which he has played since Season 2, Canadian-born Gillies also stars on the Canadian medical drama Saving Hope. If The Originals goes to series, he will do both shows.

Written by Vampire Diaries co-creator/executive producer Julie Plec, 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. Elijah (Gillies), intent on helping his self-destructive brother find redemption, must side with Marcel’s enemies in order to keep Klaus in line. 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. Gillies is repped by APA and KLWG Entertainment.

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“The Vampire Diaries”: In “The Originals” backdoor pilot (Episode 20 this season), Klaus will meet the beautiful and intelligent Camille, a psychology student at Tulane in New Orleans. Like Elena before her, Cami is a human, unaware of the “supernatural storm” brewing around her — but she’s certainly intrigued by the darker side of the French Quarter. She’ll be particularly drawn to Klaus, because as a smart and curious student, she’s intrigued by one question in particular: What makes someone evil? If anyone can answer that, it’s our very own Original hybrid. If “The Originals” gets picked up to series, Cami will be a regular cast member. (Also, some good news for you purists — in addition to Atlanta, we’re hearing that some scenes for the episode will actually be shot in New Orleans.)

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Fans of The Vampire Diaries’ biggest villain, Original hybrid werewolf/vampire Klaus, you may want to brace yourselves for the best news ever. A pilot for a potential spinoff from TVD has officially been greenlit by The CW in consideration for next season, Deadline reports.

The Originals, from TVD co-creator/exec-producer Julie Plec, will star Joseph Morgan‘s Klaus as well as series newcomer Phoebe Tonkin, who played werewolf Hayley in the first half of Season 4. The spinoff will focus on the fan-favorite family of Original vampires — the oldest vampires in existence — as Klaus returns to the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans, a town he actually helped build centuries ago. There, he is reunited with his diabolical former protégé Marcel.

And here’s the best news yet: we will actually be getting a sneak peek at the new series during an upcoming episode of TVD airing on April 25, serving as the potential backdoor pilot. Plec will write the episode as well as executive produce The Originals (if it gets a series order) with Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo for Alloy, Warner Bros TV and CBS TV Studios. TVD showrunner Kevin Williamson, who is working on his upcoming Fox show The Following, is not involved with the spinoff.

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