Because The CW didn’t want to step away from the teenage soap drama too much, when Mark Pedowitz took over the reign (he he) from Dawn Ostroff, a show was developed to make the new The CW look like the old The CW, just in case not all the viewers that have been won between 2016 and 2013 are going away. REIGN was essentially a way for the small broadcast network to combine the teenage soap opera with some history mystery, even when the history was very, very, VERY inaccurate. The writers certainly didn’t care about the historical accuracy, and out came a show that was a little too sexy for my taste, and never really historical, even though the show is set in the 16th century.
Premiering behind THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, REIGN was never able to attract a huge audience. For its genre, the ratings stayed absolutely solid and never crashed and burned, but for The CW standards, it was clear that the show would never be a hit, and from here on, either get worse or never get better (because really, would a show like REIGN get better quality-wise and win new audiences at the same time?). The pilot episode came as close to 2 million viewers as it could get, but that was a milestone the show was never able to reach again. Still, The CW was happy enough with the show and ordered a second season, which would continue to air out of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.