The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural-fantasy horror television series developed by Kevin Williamson, based on the book series of the same name by L. J. Smith. The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who falls in love with vampire brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). The series also focuses on the lives of Elena's friends and other inhabitants of the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia. The series is a mix of teen drama and the supernatural.
The series premiered on September 10, 2009, on The CW Television Network, and has become its best performing show. On October 21, 2009, the series was given a full, 22-episode first season.
Forbes.com includes the series in a so-called recent "vampire craze" in entertainment, beginning with HBO's True Blood and the Twilight series, and continuing with Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant and Daybreakers.
On February 6, 2009, Variety announced that The CW had greenlit the pilot for The Vampire Diaries with Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec set as the 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, but the rest of the episodes have been filmed in Covington (which doubles as the fictional small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia) and Monroe, Georgia, to take advantage of local tax incentives.
Owing to strong ratings, the initial 13-episode order was expanded to a full 22-episode season on October 21, 2009. Williamson has stated the series will not focus on high school but is more the story of a small town. After November 19, The Vampire Diaries was placed on an 8-week hiatus until January 21, 2010.