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August 9, 2020

Recently did a look back and shared some information from the 8 seasons of The Vampire Diaries.

As part of EW’s Fandom Week — a weeklong celebration of fandoms and pop culture — we’re looking back on 8 seasons of vampire drama, love triangles, and more doppelgängers than we can count with 10 things you might not know about The Vampire Diaries.

1. The pilot episode attracted 4.91 million viewers, the largest premiere viewership for any series on The CW at the time.

“The day after it aired and the ratings were huge and it had exceeded all expectations, everybody was celebrating,” Julie Plec remembers.

2. Stefan’s opening voiceover was added at the last minute after audience testing showed interest didn’t pique until something supernatural happened. They paired his voiceover with leftover footage from Vicki’s attack.

As Kevin Williamson previously told EW, “What happened was: If you look at the first act of the show, it very much was your typical CW show: Young girl writing in her diary, she gets up, you meet the troubled brother, you realize the parents are dead, and the vampire did not show up until I think it was minute 8 or 11. When we tested the show for the first time, you know the moment when Stefan compels the woman behind the front desk? The testing score was dead until that moment, the first moment of something supernatural.”

3. Co-creator Kevin Williamson put his career on the line to ensure Ian Somerhalder got the role of Damon, even after Somerhalder blew his first audition for the part.

The role of Damon Salvatore came down to Ian Somerhadler and one other actor, and when Somerhalder’s audition wasn’t perfect, Williamson put his foot down. “It was the only time in my career where I said, ‘If he doesn’t get the part I’m going to have to leave the show,'” Williamson told EW. “That’s how much I didn’t want the other person to get the part.”

4. Paul Wesley originally auditioned for the role of Damon because he was told he was “too old” to play Stefan. It wasn’t until Ian Somerhalder was cast that they agreed to see him for Stefan.

“It was one of those auditions that everyone was vying for, all the young actors were vying for Damon and Stefan because they were such breakout roles,” Wesley previously told EW. “And they wouldn’t see me for Stefan because they thought I was too old. [Laughs] So I went in and read for Damon and had a callback and did okay. Then I didn’t hear anything and went on with my life. I actually think I tested for another show. Then I got a call that they were having a bit of a hard time and had done all these tests and they thought they found the guys and they didn’t.”

5. Nina Dobrev is six months younger than Steven R. McQueen who played her younger brother Jeremy.

Not only was Dobrev younger than McQueen, but she was only 18 months younger than Sara Canning, who played Aunt Jenna. (Jenna was only supposed to be in grad school, but that still puts her at quite a few years older than Elena.)

6. The Vampire Diaries is the longest-running vampire show on television with a total of 8 seasons. True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer each had 7 seasons.

And that’s not including the many shows it spawned, from The Originals’ five-season run to Legacies, which is still on the air.

7. On the show, Katherine Pierce is Eastern European and speaks Bulgarian. Nina Dobrev was born in Bulgaria and speaks the language fluently.

Dobrev’s Bulgarian came into use mostly in flashbacks on the series.

8. According to showrunner Julie Plec, there were discussions in the writers’ room about killing Damon instead of Stefan in the series finale.

“There were two pitches on the table: one that gave perfect closure to the season and then another that gave closure to the whole series,” Plec told EW at the time of the finale, adding that there were “just as many discussions over killing Damon as we did over killing Stefan, and let me tell you, for a very long time the pendulum swung the other way.”

9. In season 2, Williamson and Plec came up with the series’ ending, but when Dobrev left the show in season 6, it was no longer a possibility. In their original ending, both brothers died to save Elena and the series ended with them watching her, side-by-side, as ghosts.

As Plec told EW at the time of the finale, “Back in season 2 when Kevin and I were sitting in the mall and we had fallen in love with this series and this story about two brothers who loved the same girl and the love triangle was kicking into high gear, we said to ourselves: When all is said and done, when this show is over, both brothers should die in the name of saving their girl and then be watching her like ghosts — because we had introduced the Other Side — as she went off into the sunset to live her life and maybe marry Matt Donovan or maybe become a doctor, but that those brothers would be side-by-side watching her live. That was the thing that made us cry all the tears in season 2.”

10. The last words of the series are the same as Damon’s first words spoke in the pilot: “Hello, brother.” Originally, they were going to have the final line be one of Damon’s classic snarky one-liners, “Oh, I see they have hero hair in heaven.” The writers changed it to make the finale more emotional.

Damon’s last “hello, brother” wasn’t the only call-back to that pilot moment in the series finale. Earlier in the hour, Katherine Pierce turned to the Salvatore boys and said, “Hello, brothers.”

July 29, 2020

Former Originals star Danielle Campbell returns to The CW tonight (9/8c) with the network premiere of Tell Me a Story, which finds the former TV witch falling under someone else’s spell for a change.

Though Tell Me a Story already enjoyed a two-season lifespan on CBS All Access, Campbell says it makes “perfect sense” for The CW to give its viewers a chance to experience the “thrilling, sexy, mysterious” anthology series for the first time. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the fairytale-themed drama comes from the mind of Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries) and co-stars Paul Wesley, the man formerly known as Stefan Salvatore.

When the series first premiered in 2018, “a lot of people were comparing it to Once Upon a Time [because of its fairytale themes],” Campbell says. “But it’s really fairytales reinvented. What’s unique about this show is that we’re retelling the stories in a modern-day setting without a lot of those fairytale elements. These things are happening to real people in the real world.”

The show’s first season finds Campbell playing a Little Red Riding Hood-inspired character named Kayla, a California girl who is forced to relocate to New York City with her dad after the death of her mom. “She doesn’t really know her grandmother [played by Kim Cattrall], so she isn’t happy about moving in with her,” Campbell says. “And she’s really angry with her dad. Basically, she’s mad at the world looking for any way to stir up trouble — and she finds it.”

Her trouble comes in the form of Nick (Billy Magnussen), a charmer with a dark side. “Not everybody is what they appear to be,” Campbell says of Kayla’s new man. We don’t think we need to spell out which character from Little Red Riding Hood served as the inspiration for Magnussen’s devilish character. (Grandmas, beware!)

The show’s first season — which includes elements from The Three Little Pigs and Hansel and Gretel — also stars Dania Ramirez, Davi Santos, Dorian Crossmond Missick, Michael Raymond-James, Sam Jaeger, James Wolk and Zabryna Guevara.


July 27, 2020

As we arrive at the final day of Comic-Con@Home, TVLine has one more blast from the past to share — and this one really bites. (Sorry, our vampire puns aren’t what they used to be.)

Prior to The Vampire Diaries ending in 2017, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley and the rest of Mystic Falls’ finest were among our favorite regular guests in TVLine’s Comic-Con suite. We were even fortunate enough to score the cast’s last-ever Comic-Con interview back in 2016. (Hint: It’s the one where they’re all drinking.)

Highlights include: Somerhalder and Wesley bickering like true siblings, Wesley and Candice King sharing radically different recollections of how “Steroline” came to be, and Matt Davis muttering something about a three-way ‘ship between Alaric, Elena and Bonnie.

But upon reviewing all of this old footage, we’d have to say our favorite new discovery is Kat Graham’s incomparable ability to shoot the perfect glance at the camera that just screams, “These people are insane. I’m so sorry on their behalf.”

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  • July 25, 2020

    Kevin talks to the New York Post on Tell Me A Story and the move to the CW.

    Horror maestro Kevin Williamson’s latest show, “Tell Me a Story,” is being resurrected.

    The fairy-tale inspired thriller aired on CBS All Access for two seasons (2018-20) before being axed by the streamer.

    It’s getting a new life on The CW after the network’s summer programming slate was rejiggered amidst the pandemic shutdown.

    “I never had [this experience before] but we’re also living in a new world,” Williamson, 55, tells The Post. “I feel like the TV landscape with streaming and networks and the state of things in our world has led to all of these new avenues that everyone is exploring.

    “[‘Tell Me a Story’] just didn’t come to fruition for CBS All Access,” he says. “I thought it was over and gone, so it was disappointing. When The CW [picked it up], I was very excited.

    “I did sort of say goodbye to it,” he says. “But not quite yet. It’s kind of like ‘Scream’ — it just keeps coming.”

    The anthology series, adapted from an Argentinian miniseries, follows several intertwining stories: Jordan (James Wolk) a restaurateur seeking revenge for his fiancee’s death; Eddie Longo (Paul Wesley, “The Vampire Diaries”), a bartender who moonlights as a thief; and Kim Cattrall (“Sex and the City”), a former chorus girl.

    Season 1 premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m.

    “I love the way [the original Argentine show] sort of deconstructed fairy tales in a dark sinister way,” Williamson says. “That’s something that is in my wheelhouse. Horror, drama, melodrama. And I’ve always loved fairy tales, ever since [Stephen] Sondheim did ‘Into the Woods.’ The way he deconstructed them was kind of the inspiration for ‘Scream.’ ”

    Williamson’s prolific career spans two decades and includes teen drama “Dawson’s Creek” — which launched James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams and Katie Holmes into stardom — horror (“The Faculty,” the “Scream” franchise) and sometimes a combination of the two (“The Vampire Diaries”).

    “It’s my favorite genre — not just horror, but the thriller, the mystery,” he says. “Those are the books I navigated to as a kid. And I also I watched soaps as a kid, all the nighttime soaps and the teenage shows. I’m a mixture of all those things. Teenage emotions are so extreme [and] that lends itself to the horror genre. I think it all connects.

    “That’s my happy place.”

    Williamson has also pivoted to stories featuring older characters such as “The Following” (2013-2015), “Stalker” (2014-15) and now “Tell Me a Story.”

    “My interests have gone a little more adult of late because I am an adult,” he says. “As much as I walk around as a 15-year-old kid in my head, I am 55. And so my storytelling has expanded beyond just the teen genre. But I would be lying if I said I’m not working on something that’s teen-related right now. I’ve always got something going that has young characters in it.”

    He’s also currently working on “Scream 5” for the big screen.

    “We’re caught up in the rest of Hollywood with COVID sort of holding us back from shooting and everyone trying to figure out what the protocols are,” he says. “We’re in heavy prep in North Carolina, in Wilmington — where we shot ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ which I’m ecstatic about. Any time I can shoot in North Carolina, I’m thrilled. So they’re prepping, they’re ready to go … The goal is to shoot it this fall.”

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  • July 23, 2020

    Paul & Ines celebrate their one year anniversary!

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    Joyeux Anniversaire mon amour ♥️

    A post shared by ines drmn (@inesdrmn) on

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  • January 21, 2020

    Paul Wesley is returning to the CW.

    EW has confirmed that the Vampire Diaries star will direct the 17th episode of Batwoman‘s first season. Wesley revealed the news Monday in an Instagram story that showed the cover of the script, written by Daphne Miles, he’ll be bringing to the screen.

    Wesley made his directorial debut in season 5 of The Vampire Diaries, and went on to helm four more episodes before the show’s run ended. Since then, he’s directed episodes of Shadowhunters; Roswell, New Mexico; and the Vampire Diaries spin-off Legacies. Wesley also stars in CBS All Access’ Tell Me a Story, which is in the middle of its second season.

    Batwoman just returned from its hiatus with an episode that ended with a major twist: The surprise appearance of a Beth (Rachel Skarsten) who didn’t become the big bad Alice. In other words, there are now two Beths in Gotham right now, one evil and one not.

    “Kate is confused, thrilled, and ultimately very conflicted to have the person she’s longed for her entire life finally show up unexpectedly,” showrunner Caroline Dries told EW about Kate dealing with her two twin sisters. “Having both Beth and Alice — what is and what should have been — results in a lot of ambivalence for Kate, who will probably never heal from what happened the day of the car accident.”

    Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.


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  • December 3, 2019

    In his interview with Andy Cohen Paul talks about the finale of The Vampire Diaries.

    Paul Wesley was rooting for a beloved character’s death on The Vampire Diaries’ series finale.

    The 37-year-old actor stopped by Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Monday to promote his show, Tell Me a Story, and revealed that he wanted his TVD character, Stefan Salvatore, to perish in the CW show’s final episode. Wesley got his wish, as Stefan sacrificed himself in the finale, thus allowing his brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), to have a life with Elena (Nina Dobrev), and saving the town, Mystic Falls, from being consumed in hell fire.

    “I was very happy that he died and I actually had requested that he die,” Wesley admitted. “He did a lot of bad things and I felt like he deserved death.”

    It turns out that all those bad things Stefan did actually came at Wesley’s request.

    “I was playing the good guy. I felt like I was starting to become a little bit type cast as the good brother. And I really tried my best to influence them to allow me to be ‘the bad guy’ and they made that happen,” he said of the show’s writers. “Season three I turned into ‘the ripper’ and I felt like that was a big part of my doing.”

    While Wesley generally felt “good” about the finale, he revealed that he wished one other person had died during the episode.

    “I honestly think both brothers should have died. I feel good about it, although I would’ve liked that we both died and that Elena, the girl at the end of the show, all her memory was wiped and she went on to live a normal life and forgot that we ever existed,” he said. “I think that would’ve been nice.”

    Despite wishing that his onscreen brother had perished at the end of season eight, Wesley had nothing but praise for both his and Somerholder’s fictional and real-life relationships.

    “Ian’s a very loving guy. We hug a lot… We have cuddled… I’m sure we’ve cuddled up maybe on a plane or something,” Wesley said. “We haven’t spooned. Yet…We hug each other. He gives me kisses on the cheek all the time.”

    When it came to his own role, Wesley said that, though he took the job “very seriously,” there were some necessary preparations that required a sense of humor.

    “Based on the chest photos, clearly a lot of working out obviously. A lot of tanning. A lot of shaving my chest,” he said of how he groomed for the role. “… I was playing a 17-year-old, so I kinda didn’t have a choice in the matter.”

    “… I was playing 160-year-old guy and I had to be stoic and brooding and I had to just think about what it was like to be on this earth for 160 years [and add] a deadpan expression,” he added.

    Even with all his praise of the show, his role, and his co-stars, Wesley admitted that he had one major problem with the series as a whole.

    “Everyone was a supernatural being! What the hell? There need to be some humans! We’re in the real world! Everyone! Everyone in the whole town was a mystical creature,” he exclaimed. “I feel like… it should’ve been 50/50.”

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