Good news! Against all odds, the casting director geniuses at The CW have found someone with the same balance of attractiveness, charisma, and menacing terror as Joseph Morgan. The potential Vampire Diaries spinoff, "The Originals," which should unquestionably earn a spot on the network's fall lineup, introduced us to our newest TV crush: Charles Michael Davis.
The actor plays Marcel, the HVIC (head vampire in charge) of New Orleans, whose dimples are just as adorable as JoMo's. A long, long time ago, the Mikaelsons (mostly Klaus) helped found the gorgeous, electric city of New Orleans. Marcel is Klaus' onetime protege who now runs the city — and who is every bit the ruthless killer as his former mentor. I'd like imagine Klaus picked him up from the gutter, Fagin-style, made him adopt a charming British accent, and turned Marcel into the Oliver Twist of his merry band of vampire thugs.
For all we know, that could have happened. But what we do know is that at some point, Klaus and his bros peaced out, while Marcel stayed and turned the city into his own little kingdom. He drove the werewolves away, terrorized the witches so they wouldn't practice magic within city limits, and made New Orleans a vampire's paradise.
Naturally, this means the New Orleans witches aren't happy. Enter Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), who'd spent a few weeks drinking at various bars around the city while she searched for clues about her family history. A pair of witch sisters noticed something different about her and cast a spell to determine whether their hunch was correct. It was.
A bunch of other stuff happened, Elijah made his way to town (and was super hot and badass in the process, like always), blah blah blah, HAYLEY IS PREGNANT WITH KLAUS' BABY. The Nawlins witches want Klaus' help to take down Marcel, and they're holding Hayley (and Klaus' unborn child) hostage until he helps them out.
Unfortunately, Klaus didn't actually care about his baby or his one night stand, so he not-so-politely declined their offer. Enter Elijah, the voice of reason, who appealed to Klaus' narcissism and mades his brother realize that an heir is exactly what their family needs. Maybe this thing is gonna work out after all!
Here's the thing about the pregnancy — the loophole the writers created to allow Klaus the ability to impregnate someone, that werewolves can procreate even though vampires can't, is totally believable. It's got that WTF?! element of most of TVD's best plot twists, and adds an urgent, emotional layer to the storyline. Although kids make everything complicated, this is a fascinating complication that I have no doubt the talented TVD/Originals writing team can make even more complicated and interesting (in the best way possible).
The other new character of note, Camille (Leah Pipes) — or Cami, as she'd prefer to be known— seems a worthy, gorgeous love interest for Klaus. But even though there's crazy romance potential there, it was comforting to see the hybrid call his Mystic Falls object of affection, Caroline, instead of engaging this new girl. He was standing in a city he loved and he wanted to be with the girl he loves (even if that love isn't exactly reciprocated).
Back in Mystic Falls, Rebekah remained resolute that she would not help Klaus. Seems like she'll eventually come around, though, considering she's supposed to be a series regular on the new show. Also, Stefan and Damon are desiccating Elena until she gets weak enough to scare some humanity into her. This was the only Mystic Falls-related revelation we learned all night. And guess what? I hardly noticed.
"The Originals" felt darker and more mature than TVD — as advertised — but the most striking thing about the episode is how it felt like a natural evolution of the vampire drama we love so much. It also felt like a natural extension of the story. This was no forced spinoff. The characters belong in the world of New Orleans, and there's plenty of story to be told. If The CW doesn't announce in the next two days that it's already picked up 22 episodes of the new show for its fall schedule, then they're more oblivious than Bonnie Bennett.
More:What's the Secret to 'The Originals' Success?'Vampire Diaries' Recap: Prom at Mystic Falls HighThrowback Thursday: 5 TV Proms 'TVD' Needs To Live Up To
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Top Story: Halle Berry File for Divorce
Actress Halle Berry has filed for divorce six months after separating from her husband of three years, R&B singer Eric Benet. Berry's publicist confirmed the filing Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, The Associated Press reports. The couple met in 1999 at an HBO party for the premiere of the biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, in which Berry starred as the first black woman nominated for a Best Actress Oscar with 1954's Carmen Jones. They married in January 2001. At the time of their split, tabloids speculated Benet's faithfulness was an issue in their marriage. In a statement issued by her publicist in October 2003, Berry said: "Eric and I have had marital problems for some time now and have tried to work things out together. However, at this point, I feel we need time apart to reevaluate our union." This is the second divorce for Berry, 37, whose previous marriage to Cleveland Indians outfielder David Justice ended in divorce in 1996.
Jackson Personally Terminated Lead Attorneys
Michael Jackson said in a statement posted on his Web site Monday that he personally "terminated" his two lead defense attorneys--Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman--in his child molestation case. The statement was made in defense to press reports that the two legal eagles had stepped down. On Sunday, Brafman told Reuters Sunday he and Geragos had resigned from the case over "complicated legal and practical issues" that he could not discuss. Jackson, however, did not come out and say why he dismissed his two lead attorneys, but hinted: "It is imperative that I have the full attention of those who are representing me. My life is at stake. Therefore I must feel confident that my interests are of the highest priority."
Godsend Web Site Causes Controversy
Web surfers have started petitions to close a Web site to promote Lions Gate's upcoming drama Godsend, in which a couple clone their dead son. The site, www.godsendinstitute.org, promotes a fertility clinic run by a Dr. Richard Wells, billed as "the top genetic engineering researcher" in the United States. The problem seems to be the fact that the site doesn't mention the film or that the Godsend Institute is fictitious and its Dr. Wells is actor Robert De Niro. "Almost everyone who goes to the site thinks it's real, but by the time they leave, most have figured it's fiction. Some even applaud it," Tom Ortenberg, president of film releasing for Lions Gate, told Reuters. He added that the studio is getting several hundred phone calls a day to the fake clinic's toll-free number, but none have been from people actually looking for help.
Blake's P.I. Won't Testify Before Trial
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp ruled Monday that prosecutors in the Robert Blake murder trial couldn't take pretrial testimony from a private investigator hired by actor to dig into his wife's past. Blake allegedly hired Jordan to investigate Bakley during a custody battle for the couple's 3-year-old daughter daughter. According to Reuters, prosecutors had wanted to examine 77-year-old William Jordan, a former police detective, under oath before the trial starts because of his age and the importance of his testimony. But Schempp rejected the motion because it is too close to the trial date. Blake is scheduled to go to trial in Sept. 9 for the May 4, 2001, murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. The Baretta star is free on $1.5 million bail
Stern's Ratings Soar Despite Crackdown
Even though federal regulators have recently tighten restrictions on indecency, specifically targeting shock jock Howard Stern, his radio show's ratings have only gone up. Reuters reports the show scored major gains in listenership during the winter quarter ended Mar. 31 in the three biggest U.S. markets--New York, Los Angeles and Chicago--according to figures made public on Monday by the Arbitron radio ratings service. In Stern's home market of New York, where his show is broadcast on WXRK-FM, he topped all morning drive-time competition with a 7.2 share in total audience, up 22 percent from the fall quarter and 18 percent from last winter, Arbitron said. Stern's show had dipped slipped to No. 2 in total audience last fall.
Blanchett Becomes Mommy for Second Time
Oscar-nominated actress Cate Blanchett and husband writer Andrew Upton welcomed their second son, Roman Robert, last Friday, Blanchett's publicist told Reuters. The couple have a 2-year-old son, Dashiell. The 34-year-old actress will be seen next in Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, portraying screen legend Katharine Hepburn.
Pointer Sister Faces Drug Charges
June Pointer Whitmore, the youngest member of the '70s hit-making group the Pointer Sisters, was charged Monday with cocaine possession, Reuters reports. She was arrested last Thursday with two other people outside the Hollywood apartment of her older sister, Bonnie, but was released on bail. Details of Whitmore's arrest were sketchy, Reuters reports, but a spokeswoman for prosecutors said she and her co-defendants were confronted by police officers who responded to citizen complaints and found them in possession of cocaine and cocaine pipes.
Role Call: Polanski Finds His Oliver Twist
Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, who is helming an adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel Oliver Twist, has found the right young actor to portray the title character, after a search of London's drama schools. After a screen test in Prague, where Oliver Twist will be shot, 10-year-old Barney Clarke won the role. Ben Kingsley will play Fagin. Shooting begins July 12.