The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural teen drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the popular book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The series premiered on The CW on September 10, 2009 and concluded on March 10, 2017 airing 171 episodes over eight seasons. It is the first series in what later became The Vampire Diaries Universe, sharing continuity with other TVDU television series, webseries, novels and comics.
The pilot episode attracted the largest audience for The CW of any series premiere since the network began in 2006; the first season averaged 3.60 million viewers. It was the most-watched series on the network before being supplanted by Arrow. The show has received numerous award nominations, winning 4 People's Choice Award and many Teen Choice Awards.
On April 6, 2015, lead actress Nina Dobrev confirmed that she and co-star Michael Trevino (who plays Tyler Lockwood) would be leaving the show after its sixth season. Dobrev returned to record a voiceover for the seventh-season finale and returned as a guest star in the series 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, consisting of 16 episodes, would be the show's last. The final season began airing on October 21, 2016, and ended March 10, 2017.