The Vampire Diaries
|The Vampire Diaries|
|Developed by||Kevin Williamson
|Written by||L. J. Smith (Books)|
Steven R. McQueen
Sara Canning (season 1-2,3)
Kayla Ewell (season 1,2,3)
Matt Davis (season 1-3,4)
|Narrated by||Nina Dobrev
Steven R. McQueen
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||89 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Leslie Morgenstein
Vancouver, British Columbia
|Running time||43 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Outerbanks Entertainment
CBS Television Studios
Warner Bros. Television
|Original channel||The CW|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original run||September 10, 2009 – present|
|Related shows||The Originals|
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 Television Network on September 10, 2009. The series takes place in Mystic Falls, Virginia, a fictional small town haunted by supernatural beings. The main focus of the series is the love triangle between the protagonist Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and vampire-brothers Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). 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 Katherine Pierce and the family of Original Vampires, all of which have an evil agenda of their own.
The pilot episode attracted the largest audience of any series premiere since the network began in 2006. The first season averaged 3.60 million viewers. The show initially received average reviews, but critics agreed that the series improved over the course of the season with both the second and third season premiering to generally favorable reviews. The show has received numerous award nominations, winning two People's Choice Award and many Teen Choice Awards.
On February 11, 2013, The CW renewed the series for a fifth season. On April 26, 2013, The CW has officially announced that the spin-off The Originals has been ordered to series, set to premiere in the 2013-14 television season.
Series overview 
The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), an 18-year-old girl who falls deeply in love with a 160-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.
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 17th century. Additional storylines revolve around the other inhabitants of the town, most notably Elena's younger brother Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen), her best friends Bonnie Bennett (Katerina 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 other supernatural threats such as werewolves, witches, ghosts, and hybrids.
Although the show is based on the books of the same name and the main story lines from the books are maintained, many of the characters are changed. Beginning in season one, ten characters received star billing, with one being written out and another being promoted.
Nina Dobrev portrays Elena Gilbert, the main protagonist, and her doppelgänger Katherine Pierce, also known as Katerina Petrova, who was originally the main antagonist of the second season, but as the season progresses she becomes the secondary antagonist.
Paul Wesley portrays 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 and his role becomes more antagonistic.
Damon Salvatore is portrayed by Ian Somerhalder, the malevolent vampire brother who, in the beginning, serves as the show's anti-hero; however, he shows a kinder, more caring side as the series progresses.
Other cast members include include Steven R. McQueen, who portrays Jeremy Gilbert, Elena's younger brother, later revealed to be her biological cousin, 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 Kat Graham, who portrays Bonnie Bennett, Elena's best friend, who is also a witch that lost her grandma . Candice Accola portrays Caroline Forbes, Elena's other best friend who was insecure and her occasional rival at first but becomes a vampire in the second season, making her more mature as a person. Zach Roerig portrays Matt Donovan, Elena's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, who later becomes romantically involved with Caroline. Michael Trevino portrays Tyler Lockwood, a werewolf later turned into a hybrid, Jeremy's rival, 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. In season three, Joseph Morgan joins the main cast after being a guest star in season two, as Original Vampire Klaus, the main antagonist of the second, and third season.
Former cast include Matthew Davis joined the cast as Alaric Saltzman, a history teacher, vampire hunter, and love interest for Jenna. He died towards the end of Season 3, after dying due to being linked to Elena; as she had drowned but transitioned into a vampire (blood given by Meredith Fell). Sara Canning portrays Jeremy and Elena's aunt and legal guardian, Jenna Sommers, who is killed at the end of the second season after being turned into a vampire and used for Klaus's ritual. Kayla Ewell portrayed Vicki Donovan, Matt's troubled older sister and girlfriend of Tyler and then Jeremy. She was written out of the show in the seventh episode of the first season, after being turned into a vampire by Damon and killed by Stefan.
Initially, Kevin Williamson had little interest in developing the series, finding the premise too similar to other vampire tales. However, at Julie Plec's urging, 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." 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, but the rest of the episodes have been filmed in Covington, Georgia (which doubles as the 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. 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 October 11, 2012. The CW renewed the show for a fifth season on February 11, 2013.
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 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.
Critical reception 
The Vampire Diaries initially received mixed reviews. Metacritic gave the show a Metascore of 50 based on 22 critical reviews, indicating mixed to 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 poor 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 universal acclaim 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 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.
U.S. Nielsen ratings 
The series premiere on September 10, 2009 gave The CW its biggest series premiere scoring 4.91 million viewers. Adding in DVR numbers, the ratings for the premiere swelled to an official 5.7 million viewers. The following is a table for the seasonal rankings, based on average total estimated viewers per episode, of The Vampire Diaries on The CW. "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
|22||September 10, 2009||4.91||May 13, 2010||3.47||#118||3.66|
|Season 2||22||September 9, 2010||3.36||May 12, 2011||2.86||#193||3.17|
|Season 3||22||September 15, 2011||3.10||May 10, 2012||2.53||#166||2.81|
|Season 4||23||October 11, 2012||3.18||May 16, 2013||2.24||N/A||N/A|
"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).
Other nominations were Choice Male Hottie (Ian Somerhalder) and Choice Scene Stealer (Katerina Graham). 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. It was also nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Network TV Series. 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.
In 2011, "The Vampire Diaries" was nominated for 12 Teen Choice Awards including: 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 Villain (Joseph Morgan), Scene Stealer Female (Katerina Graham), Scene Stealer Male (Michael Trevino), Female hottie (Nina Dobrev), Male hottie (Ian Somerhalder) and Vampire (Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley).
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.
At the 2012 Teen Choice Awards, the show gained nine nominations: Choice TV Show – Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Choice TV Actor – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Paul Wesley), Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Nina Dobrev), Choice TV Actor – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Ian Somerhalder), Choice TV Actress – Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Katerina Graham), Choice TV Villain (Joseph Morgan), Scene Stealer Female (Candice Accola), Scene Stealer Male (Michael Trevino) and Choice Male Hottie (Ian Somerhalder), and won six.
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.
Home release 
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. 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; 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 in DVD and Blu-ray on August 30, 2011. Region B's releases varied; 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.
Former president of entertainment at The CW, Dawn Ostroff, has mentioned a spin-off idea that 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 will air on 25 April for a potential series pick-up for the 2013-2014 season. This second spin-off attempt is carried out by Julie Plec. There is no involvement by Kevin Williamson.
On April 26, 2013, The CW announced that The Originals had been ordered to series to premiere in the 2013-14 television season.
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