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 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 doppelganger Katerina Petrova 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 and following seasons have maintained an audience of over 2 million viewers. Despite such ratings being considered low on other networks, 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 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. The fifth season premiered on October 3, 2013.
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