The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries
Genre Supernatural drama
Based on The Vampire Diaries by
L. J. Smith
Developed by Kevin Williamson
Julie Plec
Starring Nina Dobrev
Paul Wesley
Ian Somerhalder
Steven R. McQueen
Sara Canning
Kat Graham
Candice Accola
Zach Roerig
Kayla Ewell
Michael Trevino
Matt Davis
Joseph Morgan
Michael Malarkey
Composer(s) Michael Suby
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 120 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Leslie Morgenstein
Bob Levy
Kevin Williamson
Julie Plec
Editor(s) Lance Anderson
Tyler Cook
Nathan Easterling
Location(s) Atlanta, Georgia
Covington, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s) Outerbanks Entertainment
Alloy Entertainment
CBS Television Studios
Warner Bros. Television
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original channel The CW
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original run September 10, 2009 (2009-09-10) – present (present)
Related shows The Originals
External links
Production website

The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The series premiered on The CW on September 10, 2009.

The series takes place in Mystic Falls, Virginia, a fictional small town haunted and surrounded by supernatural beings. The series narrative follows the protagonist Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) as she falls in love with vampire Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and is drawn into the supernatural world as a result. As the series progresses, Elena finds herself drawn to Stefan's brother Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) resulting in a love triangle. As the narrative develops in the course of the series, the focal point shifts on the mysterious past of the town involving Elena's malevolent doppelgänger Katerina Petrova. Katerina was the love of both Damon and Stefan Salvatore many years ago. Her return, along with the family of Original Vampires, have all led to many plots against Elena and Mystic Falls.

The pilot episode attracted the largest audience for The CW of any series premiere since the network began in 2006.[1] The first season averaged 3.60 million viewers and following seasons have maintained an audience of over 2 million viewers.[2] It remains the most-watched series on the network. The series initially received mixed reviews, but critics agreed as the first season progressed that the show improved. Subsequent seasons have premiered to more positive critical reception. The show has received numerous award nominations, winning four People's Choice Award and many Teen Choice Awards.

On February 11, 2013, The CW renewed the series for a fifth season.[3] On April 26, 2013, The CW has officially announced that the spin-off The Originals, which focuses on the Original family, has been ordered to series and began airing during the 2013–14 American television season.[4] The fifth season premiered on October 3, 2013, followed by the series premiere of The Originals.[5]

On February 13, 2014, The CW renewed the series for a sixth season.[6]

Series overview

The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), a teenage girl who falls deeply in love with a 163-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan's vicious and malevolent older brother Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) returns with a plan to wreak havoc on the town, seeking revenge against his younger brother for turning him into a vampire against his will. Both brothers begin to show affection towards Elena, mainly because of her resemblance to their past love Katherine Pierce. It is revealed that Elena is a descendant of Katherine, who eventually returns with plans against the trio. Elena undergoes many hardships and deaths of close family members and loved ones through her high school experience.

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 19th century. Additional story lines revolve around the other inhabitants of the town, most notably Elena's younger brother Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen), her best friends Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) and Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola), and their mutual friends Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) and Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig). The town's politics are orchestrated by descendants of the original founding families, all comprising a "Founders' Council". Some of the founding families of Mystic Falls include the Salvatores, the Gilberts, the Fells, the Forbes, and the Lockwoods. They guard the town mainly from vampires, although there are many more supernatural threats such as werewolves, witches, ghosts, Originals and hybrids.

Cast and characters

  • Nina Dobrev portrays Elena Gilbert,[7] the main protagonist, whom the series follows as she falls in love with Stefan, and later she falls for his brother Damon Salvatore, creating a love triangle. This results in her being drawn into the supernatural world, with the show following her struggles in surviving supernatural events in the town. Dobrev also portrays Elena's doppelgänger Katherine Pierce, also known as Katerina Petrova, who was originally introduced as the main antagonist of the second season, but later became the secondary antagonist of the second season. Similar to her significant portion in Season Two, Katherine appears as a main character in the fifth season, playing a more significant role in the story arc, as opposed to her sporadic appearances in prior seasons. Dobrev has also played a third doppelgänger, Silas' true love known as Amara, whom he was seeking to find in the afterlife for thousands of years.[8]
  • Paul Wesley portrays Stefan Salvatore,[9] 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 and his role becomes more antagonistic. Eventually he returns to his good-hearted and caring self. He also portrays his revealed doppelgänger Silas, the world's first immortal being who's over 2,000 years old and the main antagonist of the fourth season and the secondary antagonist of the fifth season.
  • Ian Somerhalder portrays Damon Salvatore,[10] the malevolent vampire brother who initially served as the show's anti-hero. He is mostly thought of as selfish and manipulative, but later on in the series, he begins to portray a more caring and well being side. After his brother Stefan returns to his old ways, he becomes the more admired brother. Throughout this period he and Elena begin to develop a complicated relationship that eventually evolves into something more. They begin dating after the season 4 finale.
  • Steven R. McQueen portrays Jeremy Gilbert,[11] Elena's younger brother, later revealed to be her biological cousin and a member of The Five, a vampire hunter. Jeremy is killed in Season 4 after being thrown onto Silas by Katherine and getting attacked by Silas while trying to get the cure and is resurrected by Bonnie Bennett in the season 4 finale.
  • Sara Canning portrays Jeremy and Elena's aunt and legal guardian, Jenna Sommers.[12] Canning left the show after season two, when Jenna was killed after being turned into a vampire and used for Klaus' ritual.
  • Kat Graham portrays Bonnie Bennett,[13] Elena and Caroline's best friend, a very powerful witch, who died resurrecting Jeremy Gilbert in the season 4 finale. Graham continues in the same capacity as a series regular on the show; her character is now a ghost. Her character has been brought back to life by becoming the new anchor to the afterlife, and was later used as a passage way for Markos to return to the land of the living. Alaric, Tyler, Elena, Stefan and Luke use her for the same reason and currently she is still dead but used to be with Damon Salvatore in an unknown place since the other side is destroyed. And trapped with Kai in the year of 1994.
  • Candice Accola portrays Caroline Forbes,[14] Bonnie and Elena's best friend who was insecure and her occasional rival with Elena at first but becomes a vampire in the second season, making her more mature as a person. In season two Caroline and Tyler have a relationship that develops in season three and ends in season five.
  • Zach Roerig portrays Matt Donovan,[15] Elena's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, who later becomes romantically involved with Caroline, although they break up during third season they still remain good friends.
  • Michael Trevino portrays Tyler Lockwood,[16] a werewolf later turned into a hybrid, Jeremy and Matt's best friend, and son of the mayor of Mystic Falls; male members of his family have been shown to carry a lycanthropic trait. His uncle Mason was also a werewolf, but who later got killed by Damon in season two. He was turned into the first successful hybrid by Klaus. In the Season 5 finale, the passenger inside his body is killed after having had the vampirism revert so he died a werewolf, and was resurrected as such later in the episode.
  • Matthew Davis joins the cast halfway through season one as Alaric Saltzman,[17] 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 will return as a regular in Season 6.[18]
  • Michael Malarkey[20] joins the main cast in season six after being a guest star in season five, as Enzo, 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 later revive their friendship and he is also looking for his lost lover Maggie. In the episode "Man on Fire" Enzo shut off his humanity and then Stefan Salvatore ripped out his heart. He was resurrected in the season finale.


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 22 September 10, 2009 (2009-09-10) May 13, 2010 (2010-05-13)
2 22 September 9, 2010 (2010-09-09) May 12, 2011 (2011-05-12)
3 22 September 15, 2011 (2011-09-15) May 10, 2012 (2012-05-10)
4 23 October 11, 2012 (2012-10-11) May 16, 2013 (2013-05-16)
5 22 October 3, 2013 (2013-10-03) May 15, 2014 (2014-05-15)
6 22 October 2, 2014 (2014-10-02) 2015


Initially, Kevin Williamson had little interest in developing the series, finding the premise too similar to other vampire tales. However, at the urging of Julie Plec, he began to read the novels and 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."[21] Williamson has stated the town's story will be the main focus of the series, rather than high school.[22]

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.[23] On May 19, 2009, the series was officially ordered for the 2009–2010 season.[24]

The pilot episode was filmed in Virginia) and various other communities around Greater Atlanta,[25] 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.[26]

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.[27] On February 16, 2010, The CW announced that it had renewed the show for a second season,[28] which premiered on September 9, 2010.[29] On April 26, 2011, The CW renewed the show for a third season.[30] The third season premiered on September 15, 2011.[31] The fourth season premiered October 11, 2012. The CW renewed the show for a fifth season on February 11, 2013.[32] On February 13, 2014, The CW renewed the series for a sixth season.[6]

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 Season Two at the request of Kevin Williamson. Kevin Williamson felt to do the best show possible he would rather do 22. "I'd rather have a great 22 than a good 24 if Kevin couldn't do it," he explained.[33]

The first writers meeting for Season Five held on April 15, 2013. Filming began on July 10, 2013. Filming of the season was finished on April 10, 2014.


Critical reception

The Vampire Diaries initially received mixed reviews, which through the course of the show, improved greatly. Metacritic gave the show a Metascore of 50 based on 22 critical reviews, indicating mixed to average reviews.[34] 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."[35] 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."[36] 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."[37]

Many TV critics felt the series improved with each episode. Sarah Hughes of [39] Mike Hale of The New York Times gave the series an honorable mention on his list of the top TV shows of 2009.[40]

The show's second season opened to favorable reviews from professional television critics as it received a 78/100 score on Metacritic. As the series progressed and developed onto 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 Katerina Graham, and Caroline Forbes who is played by Candice Accola.

The third season finale, "The Departed", opened to generally positive reviews. Diana Steenbergen of IGN praised the episode and the writers for clearing up a couple story lines and making all of them come to a head. She also praised Dobrev's performance in this episode, addressing her behaviour 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 the more unexpected final twist.[41]

U.S. Nielsen ratings

The series premiere on September 10, 2009 gave The CW its biggest series premiere scoring 4.91 million viewers.[42] Adding in DVR numbers, the ratings for the premiere swelled to an official 5.7 million viewers.[43] 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.

Season Timeslot (ET/PT) # Ep. Premiered Ended Rank Viewers live+SD (in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
Season 1 Thursday 8p/7c 22 September 10, 2009[44] 4.91[45] May 13, 2010[2] 3.47[46] #118[2] 3.66[2]
Season 2 22 September 9, 2010[29] 3.36[47] May 12, 2011[48] 2.86[49] #193[50] 3.17[51]
Season 3 22 September 15, 2011[52] 3.10[53] May 10, 2012 2.53 #166 2.81
Season 4 23 October 11, 2012[54] 3.18[55] May 16, 2013[56] 2.24 #133 2.97[57]
Season 5 22 October 3, 2013[5] 2.59[58] May 15, 2014[59] 1.61 [60] #147 [61] 2.68 [61]
Season 6 22 October 2, 2014[62] 1.81 [63] N/A N/A N/A N/A

Awards and accolades

Ian Somerhalder gained much attention from critics and audiences, and won several acting awards.

The Vampire Diaries won 7 Teen Choice Awards in 2010 including: Choice TV Show – Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Choice TV Actor – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Paul Wesley), Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Nina Dobrev), Choice TV Villain (Ian Somerhalder), Choice TV Breakout Show, Choice TV Female Breakout Star (Nina Dobrev) and Choice TV Male Breakout Star (Paul Wesley).[64][65]

Other nominations were Choice Male Hottie (Ian Somerhalder) and Choice Scene Stealer (Katerina Graham).[66] The show won an award for Favorite New TV Drama at the 2010 People's Choice Awards and received a nomination for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show.[67] It was also nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Network TV Series.[68] On November 9, 2010, it received nominations for Favourite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show and Favourite TV Drama as well as a nomination for Ian Somerhalder in the TV Drama Actor category at the 2011 People's Choice Awards.[69]

In 2011, The Vampire Diaries was nominated for 12 [70]

At the 2012 People's Choice Awards, the show gained four nominations: Best TV Drama, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Drama Actor for Ian Somerhalder and Drama Actress for Nina Dobrev. While the show and Ian Somerhalder lost out (to another The CW show Supernatural and Nathan Fillion, respectively), Nina Dobrev won in her category, becoming the first write-in person ever to do so.[71]

At the [72][73]

In 2013, The Vampire Diaries was nominated for five People's Choice Awards, including: Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Drama Actor for Ian Somerhalder, Drama Actress for Nina Dobrev, Drama Actor for Paul Wesley and Favorite TV Fan Following. While the show lost to another The CW show Supernatural, Ellen Pompeo and Nathan Fillion, respectively.[74]

At the Steven R. McQueen).[75][76]

In 2014, The Vampire Diaries was nominated for four People's Choice Awards, including: Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Drama Actor for Ian Somerhalder in which he won the award, Drama Actress for Nina Dobrev and Favorite On Screen Chemistry (Damon Salvatore & Elena Gilbert) in which they won the award.[77]

At the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, the show gained six nominations: Choice TV Show – Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Choice TV Actor – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Paul Wesley), Choice TV Actor – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Ian Somerhalder), Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Nina Dobrev), Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Katerina Graham), Choice Male Hottie (Ian Somerhalder).

Home media releases

Season one was released on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4 and 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.[78] It was released on DVD in Region 2 on August 23, 2010.[79] Following that release, Region 1 began selling DVDs on August 31, 2010,[78] and Region 3 on September 1, 2010.[80] In Region A, it was released on Blu-ray on August 31, 2010.[81][82] Region B's releases varied; United Kingdom on August 23, 2010,[83] Brazil on August 26, 2010[84] and Australia on September 1, 2010.[85] The Vampire Diaries Season 2 will be available in DVD and Blu-ray on August 30, 2011.[86] Region B's releases varied; United Kingdom on August 22, 2011,[87] 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.[88][89][90] 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.[91]
Season DVD release date Blu-ray release date
Region A Region B
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 United States Canada United Kingdom Australia
1 August 31, 2010[92] August 23, 2010[93] September 1, 2010[94] August 31, 2010[95] August 31, 2010[96] August 23, 2010[97] September 1, 2010[98]
2 August 30, 2011[99] August 22, 2011[100] September 7, 2011[101] August 30, 2011[102] August 30, 2011[102] August 22, 2011[100] September 7, 2011[103]
1-2 August 22, 2011[104] November 9, 2011[105] August 22, 2011[106]
3 September 11, 2012[88] August 20, 2012[107] October 3, 2012[108] September 11, 2012[88] September 11, 2012[88] August 20, 2012 October 3, 2012[88]
1-3 August 20, 2012[109] October 17, 2012[110] August 20, 2012[111] October 3, 2012[112]
4 September 3, 2013[113] August 26, 2013[114] October 2, 2013[115] September 3, 2013[116] September 3, 2013[116] August 26, 2013[117] October 2, 2013[118]
1-4 August 26, 2013[119] October 2, 2013[120] August 26, 2013[121] October 2, 2013[122]
5 September 9, 2014[123] October 27, 2014[124] September 24, 2014[125] September 9, 2014[123] September 9, 2014[126] October 27, 2014[127] September 24, 2014[128]
1-5 October 27, 2014[129] October 1, 2014[130] October 27, 2014[131]


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.[132] 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.[133]

On January 11, 2013, it was announced that a The Originals would air on 25 April for a potential series pick-up for the 2013–2014 season.[134] This second spin-off attempt was carried out by Julie Plec with no involvement by Kevin Williamson.[135]

On April 26, 2013, The CW announced that The Originals had been ordered to series to premiere in the 2013–14 television season.[4] The Originals premiered on October 3, 2013.

Daniel Gillies as Elijah, Claire Holt as Rebekah and Phoebe Tonkin as Hayley will also continue to play their characters, originally from The Vampire Diaries, in the new spin-off series.[136]


Producers reported that there will be a transition of the characters in both series. Claire Holt returned in a special cameo on the series' 100th episode "500 Years of Solitude".

Tie-in material

On October 31, 2013, DC Comics launched a comic book series based on the TV show.[138]

See also


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