In April 2015, lead actress Nina Dobrev, who played Elena Gilbert, confirmed that she would be leaving the show after its sixth season. Dobrev returned to record a voiceover for the seventh-season finale and returned as a guest star in the series finale. In March 2016, The CW renewed the series for an eighth season, but in July of that year announced that the eighth season, consisting of 16 episodes, would be the show's last. The final season began airing on October 21, 2016, and ended March 10, 2017.
The concepts and characters developed in the series served to launch a media franchise that includes other television series, web series, novels and comic books. The television series The Originals, which also aired on The CW, the first major entry in this series of related works was the first.
The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history since its settlement of migrants from New England in the late 18th century. It follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), a teenage girl who has just lost both parents in a car accident, as she falls in love with a 162-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan's mysterious older brother Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) returns, with a plan to bring back their past love Katherine Pierce (also played by Dobrev), a vampire who looks exactly like Elena. Although Damon initially harbors a grudge against his brother for forcing him to become a vampire, he later reconciles with Stefan and falls in love with Elena, creating a love triangle among the three. Both brothers attempt to protect Elena as they face various villains and threats to their town, including Katherine. The brothers' history and the town's mythology are revealed through flashbacks as the series goes on.
Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert (season 1–6; guest season 8), a young orphan who falls in love with vampire Stefan Salvatore and later his brother, Damon, creating a love triangle. When Stefan shuts his humanity off after being blackmailed by Klaus, Damon is given the opportunity to grow closer to Elena. This results in her being further drawn into the supernatural world and results in her struggling to survive supernatural events in the town. Dobrev also portrays Elena's doppelgänger, Katerina Petrova also known as Katherine Pierce. Dobrev sporadically appeared in subsequent seasons and played a significant role in the fifth season. Dobrev also plays the progenitor of the Petrova doppelgängers, Silas's true love known as Amara, during the fifth season, whom he had sought in the afterlife for two thousand years. Dobrev also played another doppelgänger Tatia in The Originals season 2 episode "Red Door." In the season 6 finale, Elena's life was tied to Bonnie's in such a way that as long as Bonnie is alive, Elena will remain asleep. Damon put Elena in a coffin and had her hidden in a warehouse in Brooklyn for the next 60 years or so while he waits for her to wake up. In the series finale, Elena's curse is broken, she reunites with Damon and they live a long and happy life together with her becoming a doctor.
Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore, a good-hearted and affectionate vampire and the complete opposite of his older brother, Damon Salvatore. Later in the series, Stefan reverts to his old ways as a Ripper to save Damon from a werewolf bite. His role becomes more antagonistic, after being forced to turn his humanity off. Eventually, he returns to his good-hearted and caring self and reconciles with Elena, but the relationship doesn't last long. He becomes human again and marries Caroline in Season 8 and is killed afterwards in the series finale as he sacrifices himself to save Mystic Falls. Wesley also portrays his revealed doppelgänger, Silas (seasons 4–5), the world's first immortal being. Wesley also played another doppelgänger, Tom Avery, during the fifth season.
Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore, Stefan's malevolent vampire brother. He is mostly thought of as selfish and manipulative, but later on begins to display a more caring side. Though his love for Elena is initially one-sided, she begins to develop feelings for him as they work together to save Stefan after he's given in to his Ripper side. They begin dating in season 4, and continue to date (with some breakups along the way) until Elena is put into her deep sleep at the end of season 6. Damon becomes extremely close with Stefan, but also has a close friendship with Bonnie, despite the fact that they hated each other for the first 5 seasons of the series. Throughout seasons 6 and 7, their relationship has developed into a deeper bond, with Damon later confirming Bonnie is his best friend.
Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Gilbert (seasons 1–6; guest season 8), Elena's younger brother, later revealed to be her biological cousin. He later becomes a member of The Five, a vampire hunting group. Jeremy is killed in season 4 after Katherine throws him onto Silas, who drains his blood. He is resurrected by Bonnie Bennett, his love interest, in the season 4 finale.
Sara Canning as Jenna Sommers (seasons 1–2; guest seasons 3, 5, 8), Elena and Jeremy's aunt and legal guardian. Canning left the show after season two when Jenna was killed after being turned into a vampire and used for Klaus' ritual.
Kat Graham as Bonnie Bennett, Elena and Caroline's best friend and a very powerful witch. She has died numerous times but always found a way to return. She develops and controls her powers with the help of her grandmother, Sheila or "Grams", another witch in the family. She is often able to use her magic to help the group, and while she initially hates vampires, particularly Damon, she ends up warming up to them and becomes Damon's best friend after being stuck in a prison world with him for four months. Bonnie has lost and regained her ability to do magic multiple times throughout the show. She spent seasons 2 through 5 in an on-again, off-again relationship with Elena's brother Jeremy and later became involved with Enzo. In season 7, Bonnie faces the challenge of having received Rayna Cruz's hunters' curse, which puts all her vampire friends at risk.
Candice King as Caroline Forbes, Elena and Bonnie's best friend, who was insecure and often jealous of Elena at first, but after becoming a vampire in the second season becomes more caring and sympathetic. Neurotic but lovable, Caroline has been the love interest of many of the male characters. Initially serving as Damon's plaything in season 1, which she still hates him for, she has had serious relationships with Matt, Tyler, Alaric, and Stefan, and was long the subject of Klaus's adoration. Currently, she is raising twins with Alaric.
Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan, Vicki's younger brother and Elena's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, who became romantically involved with Caroline in season 1. They remain good friends even after breaking up during the second season. Matt wants no part in the supernatural events in his town and later is at odds with the vampires as he becomes a police officer and tries to protect the town from them. He becomes a sheriff in Season 8 and plans to run for mayor.
Kayla Ewell as Vicki Donovan (season 1; recurring seasons 2–3, 5, 8), the drug-addicted older sister of Matt. She appears to be dating Tyler but is also interested in Jeremy. She is turned into a vampire by Damon and is killed by Stefan shortly after. Ewell left the show after the first season but has appeared as a guest in multiple seasons since.
Michael Trevino as Tyler Lockwood (seasons 1–6; recurring seasons 7–8), a werewolf later turned into a hybrid, Jeremy and Matt's best friend, and son of the mayor of Mystic Falls. His Lockwood family carry a lycanthropic trait, being descended from an ancient werewolf clan. His uncle Mason was also a werewolf, who was killed by Damon in season two. He was turned into the first successful hybrid by Klaus. In the season 5 finale, he is returned to being just a human. He reactivates his werewolf gene and leaves town at the end of season 6. He appears in a couple episodes of season 7, protecting Elena's coffin. He is killed by a possessed Damon in Season 8.
Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman (seasons 1–3, 6–8; recurring season 4–5), a history teacher, vampire hunter, and love interest for Jenna. Davis left the show at the end of season three after Alaric was killed. His character returned as a regular after in season 5, after he was resurrected. His vampirism is stripped away by magic, turning him into a human again after being saved by Josette Laughlin (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) and the two begin dating. Jo becomes pregnant and they plan to marry, but she is murdered by her brother Kai at their wedding. Jo's family of witches was able to transfer the babies to Caroline, who gives birth to their twins. Caroline and Alaric move to Dallas together and begin a relationship, but end it when Caroline decides to be with Stefan after his return at the end of season 7. He establishes a boarding school with Caroline for supernatural teens at the end of the series.
Joseph Morgan as Klaus Mikaelson (seasons 3–4, recurring season 2; guest seasons 5, 7), an Original Vampire who begins to build an army of new "hybrids", which are half vampire and half werewolf. During season 3, Klaus began to develop feelings for Caroline and falls in love with her. Morgan left the show after the fourth season when Klaus moved to New Orleans on his own family's spin-off, The Originals.
Michael Malarkey as Enzo St. John (seasons 6–8; recurring season 5), a vampire formerly under the imprisonment of the Augustine society. He was Damon Salvatore's cellmate back in the 1950s when the latter was captured by the Augustines. He and Damon revived their friendship as he searched for his lost lover, Maggie. In the episode "Man on Fire," Enzo shut off his humanity after finding out the truth about Maggie’s death and is later killed by Stefan, having his heart ripped out. He was resurrected in the season finale, and later becomes Bonnie's love interest before coming under the control of the monster in the vault at the end of season 7. He is killed by a possessed Stefan and watches over Bonnie in the afterlife in Season 8.
Initially, Kevin Williamson had little interest in developing the series, finding the premise too similar to Stephenie Meyer's successful novels, Twilight. However, at the urging of Julie Plec, he began to read the books. He started to become intrigued by the story: "I began to realize that it was a story about a small town, about that town's underbelly and about what lurks under the surface." Williamson has stated the town's story will be the main focus of the series rather than high school.
On February 6, 2009, Variety announced that The CW had green-lit the pilot for The Vampire Diaries with Williamson and Julie Plec set as the head writers and executive producers. On May 19, 2009, the series was officially ordered for the 2009–2010 season.
The pilot episode was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. However, the rest of the seasons have been filmed in Covington, Georgia (which doubles as the show's fictional small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia) and various other communities around Greater Atlanta to take advantage of local tax incentives. On the morning of May 10, 2012, a fire broke out in the building on Clark Street in Covington that was used as the setting for Mystic Grill on the show.
The series was given a full 22-episode order on October 21, 2009, after strong ratings for the first half of the season. Now there is a spin-off called The Originals, that goes into depth about the original vampire family from The Vampire Diaries. On February 16, 2010, The CW announced that it had renewed the show for a second season, which premiered on September 9, 2010. On April 26, 2011, The CW renewed the show for a third season. The third season premiered on September 15, 2011. The fourth season premiered on October 11, 2012. The CW renewed the show for a fifth season on February 11, 2013. On February 13, 2014, The CW renewed the series for a sixth season. On January 11, 2015, the CW renewed the series for a seventh season.
On April 6, 2015, lead actress Nina Dobrev confirmed that she and co-star Michael Trevino (who plays Tyler Lockwood) would be leaving the show after its sixth season. Dobrev returned to record a voiceover for the seventh-season finale and returned as a guest star in the series finale. Trevino appeared as a guest star in season seven and returned for season 8.
On March 11, 2016, The CW renewed the series for an eighth season, but on July 23, 2016, announced that the eighth season, consisting of 16 episodes, would be the show's last. The final season began airing on October 21, 2016 and ended March 10, 2017. President of The CW, Mark Pedowitz, said in an interview at the summer TCA's that The Vampire Diaries didn't receive an extra episode order for the second season at the request of Kevin Williamson. Kevin Williamson felt to do the best show possible; he would rather do 22 episodes. "I'd rather have a great 22 than a good 24 if Kevin couldn't do it," he explained. The writers first met for the fifth season on April 15, 2013. Filming began on July 10, 2013, and finished on April 10, 2014. On July 23, 2016, it was announced that the show would end after a 16-episode eighth season.
The Vampire Diaries initially received mixed reviews, which through the course of the show, improved significantly. Metacritic gave the show a score of 57 (out of 100) based on reviews from 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."Entertainment Weekly gave the pilot a B+, declaring that the show "signals a welcome return to form for writer-producer Kevin Williamson." Reviewer, Ken Tucker, ended his review by writing that "Diaries promises us a season of sharp-tongued amusement." Linda Stasi of the New York Post gave the premiere a perfect score, saying that she was "hooked after one episode." Stasi praised the pacing of the episode and the "vicious, bloody vamp action," which "starts in the opening scene and continues throughout The Vampire Diaries with such ferocity and speed that it's truly scary." Conversely, San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman, gave the episode a highly critical review, calling the series "awful." Goodman disliked the dialogue and hoped that the extras on Buffy the Vampire Slayer would "return en masse to eat the cast of Vampire Diaries, plus any remaining scripts."
Many TV critics felt the series improved with each episode. Sarah Hughes of The Independent says The Vampire Diaries turns into "a well-crafted, interestingly developed series" despite a mediocre opening episode. The New York Post also praised the portrayal of Elena, finding the character to be a strong-minded woman who did not allow her feelings for her boyfriend to control her. Karla Peterson of The San Diego Union-Tribune said that "the supernatural drama is a first-class production, featuring an insanely gorgeous cast, sharp scripts, and a brooding vibe that is hard for even the most levelheaded adult to resist." Mike Hale of The New York Times gave the series an honorable mention on his list of the top TV shows of 2009.
The show's second season opened to favorable reviews. On Metacritic, it has a score of 78 (out of 100) based on reviews from 5 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." As the series progressed and developed into the third season, critics praised the portrayals of the main characters and the development of the female characters such as Elena Gilbert played by Nina Dobrev, Bonnie Bennett played by Kat Graham, and Caroline Forbes played by Candice King.
The third-season finale, "The Departed," received critical acclaim. Diana Steenbergen of IGN praised the episode and the writers for clearing up a couple of storylines and making all of them come to ahead. She also praised Dobrev's performance in this episode, addressing her behavior as another reason the final revelation from Meredith was more shocking and believable. Similarly, Mandi Bierly of Entertainment Weekly review praised the writer's skills in creating a more unexpected final twist.
The series premiere of The Vampire Diaries on September 11, 2009, gave The CW its biggest series premiere, scoring 4.91million viewers. Adding in DVR numbers, the ratings for the premiere swelled to an official 5.7million viewers. In 2016, a New York Times study of the 50 TV shows with the most Facebook Likes found that "as with several other shows that focus on the supernatural," The Vampire Diaries was "slightly more popular outside of cities. That said, the show's fandom has the smallest amount of spatial variation of all 50 shows".
The following is a table for the seasonal rankings based on average total estimated viewers per episode of The Vampire Diaries. "Rank" refers to how The Vampire Diaries rated compared to the other television series, which aired during prime time hours.
Viewership and ratings per season of The Vampire Diaries
Season one was released on DVD in Regions 1, 2, and 4. Also, on Blu-ray in Regions A and B. Both United States versions include commentary by cast and crew members on selected episodes, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, webisodes, and a downloadable audiobook of L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening. It was released on DVD in Region 2 on August 23, 2010. Following that release, Region 1 began selling DVDs on August 31, 2010, and Region 3 on September 1, 2010. In Region A, it was released on Blu-ray on August 31, 2010. Region B's releases varied; the United Kingdom on August 23, 2010, Brazil on August 26, 2010, and Australia on September 1, 2010.
The Vampire Diaries Season 2 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on August 30, 2011. Region B's releases varied; the United Kingdom on August 22, 2011, Brazil on August 25, 2011. The Vampire Diaries: Season 3 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on September 11 and A and on September 5, 2012, for Regions 4 and B. The Vampire Diaries: Season 4 is available on DVD and Blu-ray in A as of September 15, 2013.
In Japan, the fourth season was released in a special collection, including bonuses not available elsewhere. Included in the collection are an ankle bracelet, promotional image cards, and a booklet about the cast.
Former president of entertainment at The CW, Dawn Ostroff, mentioned a spin-off idea in 2010 that she said could happen in a few years. A spin-off was in development for the 2011 fall line-up, but due to Kevin Williamson's commitment to The Secret Circle, it was put on hold indefinitely.
On January 11, 2013, it was announced that a back-door pilot focused on The Originals, starring Joseph Morgan as Klaus titled The Originals would air on April 25 for a potential series pick-up for the 2013–2014 season. This second spin-off attempt was carried out by Julie Plec with no involvement by Kevin Williamson.
On April 26, 2013, The CW announced that The Originals had been ordered to the series premiere in the 2013–14 television season.The Originals premiered on October 3, 2013.
The Originals is about the Mikaelson siblings, who are the original family of vampires, and their take-over of the French Quarter of New Orleans. The show also involves Hayley and Klaus's daughter, Hope.
At the Television Critics Association winter 2016 press tour, CW president Mark Pedowitz announced an official crossover between The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, where Stefan goes on the run and finds a haven in New Orleans where he runs into Klaus.
In November 2014, a web series titled The Originals: The Awakening was released as the third show in the franchise. The series explores the character Kol Mikaelson and his relationships with his siblings. Flashing back to 1914, Kol is on a quest to ally with the witches of the French Quarter. Awakening gives answers to some questions about Kol's past, including the origins of his rivalry with his family and the unique backstory he has with the New Orleans witches. Each webisode is approximately two minutes long. The series concluded on December 8, 2014. To date, The Originals: The Awakening is the only web series in The Vampire Diaries universe.
In 2018, a spinoff "Legacies" was created that follows Hope Mikaelson of "The Originals".
On October 31, 2013, DC Comics launched a comic book series based on the TV show.
The fifth season of Supernatural, an American dark fantasy television series created by Eric Kripke, premiered September 10, 2009, and concluded on May 13, 2010, on The CW. Season five regular cast members include Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, who was promoted to series regular this season. After the conclusion of this season, series creator Eric Kripke stepped down as showrunner. The fifth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on September 7, 2010. The season follows Sam and Dean as they set out to take down Lucifer, whom Sam had inadvertently released from Hell at the end of the previous season.
The Vampire Diaries, an American supernatural drama, was officially renewed by The CW for a full 22-episode season on February 16, 2010. The first episode premiered on September 9, 2010, at 8 p.m. ET. The season picks up immediately after the events of the season one finale. All the series regulars returned. The second season focuses on the return of Elena Gilbert's doppelgänger, Katherine Pierce, the introduction of werewolves, the sun and moon curse, and the arrival of the original vampires. Tyler Lockwood's uncle, Mason Lockwood, arrives in town searching for the moonstone, a family heirloom. Tyler later learns of his family's werewolf curse. Meanwhile, Caroline Forbes is killed by Katherine while having Damon Salvatore's blood in her system, turning her into a vampire. The arrival of the original vampires, Elijah and Klaus Mikaelson, also bring about complications. Klaus is a vampire-werewolf hybrid, but his werewolf side had been forced into dormancy by witches, as nature would not stand for such an imbalance in power. Therefore, Klaus arrives in town with plans to break the curse and unleash his werewolf side by channelling the power of the full moon into the moonstone, sacrificing a vampire and a werewolf, and drinking the blood of the doppelgänger. It became available on DVD and Blu-ray on August 30, 2011.
The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural horror romance television series created by Kevin Williamson based on the novels of the same name by author L. J. Smith. It was officially picked up for the 2009–10 season on May 19, 2009. It premiered on September 10, 2009, on The CW and received the highest ratings for a series premiere in the networks history scoring 4.91 million live viewers.
The first season of Nikita, an American television drama based on the French film La Femme Nikita (1990), the remake Point of No Return (1993), and a previous series La Femme Nikita (1997). It aired from September 9, 2010 until May 12, 2011 with a total of 22 episodes. The season finale received a 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards nomination for "Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series".
The Vampire Diaries, a one-hour American supernatural drama, was officially renewed for a third season by The CW on April 26, 2011, that aired from September 15, 2011, to May 10, 2012. The third season consisted of 22 episodes and focused on the story of Klaus' origin, his relation with his family and reveal more about the original family. The third season opened to generally positive reviews. The season takes a gap from the last season and begins with Elena Gilbert's 18th birthday with all series regulars returning with the exception of Sara Canning whose character Jenna Sommers was killed off in the previous season. Joseph Morgan's character Klaus became a series regular instead of returning as a recurring character.
"The Birthday" is the first episode of the third season of The CW television series, The Vampire Diaries and the 45th episode of the series overall. It originally aired on September 15, 2011. The episode was written by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec and directed by John Behring.
The Vampire Diaries, a one-hour American supernatural drama, was renewed for a fourth season by the U.S. channel The CW on May 3, 2012, seven days before the third season's finale. Unlike the previous seasons that aired in September, it premiered on October 11, 2012, to avoid competition from major television shows. Season 4 consisted of 23 episodes instead of the usual 22 episodes.
"The Departed" is the twenty-second and final episode of The Vampire Diaries's third season, premiering May 10, 2012 on The CW. During the episode, Elena remembers when life was simpler while the rest of her friends attempt to stay away from Alaric. In the episode's initial airing, it garnered 2.53 million viewers.
The Vampire Diaries, an American supernatural drama, was renewed for a fifth season by The CW on February 11, 2013. The fifth season premiered on October 3, 2013, followed by the series premiere of the spin-off series The Originals.
The ninth season of Supernatural, an American dark fantasy television series created by Eric Kripke, premiered on October 8, 2013, concluded on May 20, 2014, and contained 23 episodes. This is the second season with Jeremy Carver as showrunner. The season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on September 9, 2014, in region 2 on June 8, 2015, and in region 4 on October 8, 2014. The ninth season had an average viewership of 2.19 million U.S. viewers.
The Vampire Diaries, a one-hour American supernatural drama, was renewed for a sixth season by The CW on February 13, 2014, and it premiered on October 2, 2014. A majority of the episode titles for this season are named after songs released in 1994 & 1903. The Vampire Diaries was renewed for a seventh season on January 11, 2015, by The CW.
"Katerina" is the 9th episode of the second season of The CW television series, The Vampire Diaries and the 31st episode of the series overall. It originally aired on November 11, 2010. The episode was written by Andrew Chambliss and directed by J. Miller Tobin.
"Klaus" is an original vampire. His first appearance is in 19th episode of the second season of The CW television series, The Vampire Diaries and the 41st episode of the series overall. It originally aired on April 21, 2011. The episode was written by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec and directed by Joshua Butler.
"The Hybrid" is the second episode of the third season of The CW television series, The Vampire Diaries and the 46th episode of the series overall. It originally aired on September 22, 2011. The episode was written by Al Septien and Turi Meyer and directed by Joshua Butler.
The Vampire Diaries, an American supernatural drama, was renewed for an eighth and final season by The CW on March 11, 2016. On July 23, 2016, the CW announced that the upcoming season would be the series' last and would consist of 16 episodes. The season premiered on October 21, 2016 and concluded on March 10, 2017.
The Vampire Diaries Universe is an American media franchise and a shared universe that is centered on various interconnected television series airing on The CW. The series were developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, and based on characters who appeared in the original novel series, The Vampire Diaries, by L. J. Smith.