Thepilot episodeattracted the largest audience for The CW of any series premiere since the network began in 2006.Thefirst seasonaveraged 3.60 million viewers.It was the most-watched series on the network before being supplanted byArrow. The show has received numerous award nominations, winning fourPeople's Choice Awardand manyTeen Choice Awards.
On April 6, 2015, lead actressNina Dobrevconfirmed viaInstagramthat she and co-starMichael Trevino(who playsTyler Lockwood) would be leaving the show after its sixth season. Dobrev returned to record a voice-over for the seventh-season 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, which would have 16 episodes, would be the show's last.The final season began airing on October 21, 2016.
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. It follows the life ofElena 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 namedStefan Salvatore(Paul Wesley). Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan's mysterious older brotherDamon Salvatore(Ian Somerhalder) returns, with a plan to bring back their past lover Katherine Pierce, a vampire who looks exactly like Elena. Although Damon is initially the villain and 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 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.