Dear diary, can you believe it’s been 10 years since The Vampire Diaries premiered?
While it was initially written off as a TV version of Twilight, the CW hit, which debuted on Sept. 10, 2009, quickly developed a cult following that turned the show into one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons in the early teens, blending together epic romances, supernatural beings (vampires, werewolves, witches, oh my!) and small town drama to create one irresistible series that helped redefine the young network.
Based on the book series by L.J. Smith, TVD was created by Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, two people who know a thing or two about iconic love triangles. But Kevin almost passed on the show completely.
“In the beginning when I read it, I didn’t want to be involved with it because I felt it was a sort of Twilight rip-off, no matter which came first,” the TV legend admitted to The Independent. “The premise was exactly the same: girl falls in love with vampire, and I felt that it had been done and that nobody was going to do another vampire story. But then Julie kept telling me to keep reading the books and then I began to realise that it was a story about a small town, about that town’s underbelly and about what lurks under the surface.”
What lurked were the relationships and friendships that made up the town of Mystic Falls, with The Vampire Diaries turning its relatively unknown young stars into superstars, especially its main trio: Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert and Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder as Stefan and Damon Salvatore, the estranged vampire brothers who are both in love with her.
The series would go on to air eight seasons and launch two successful spinoffs (The Originals and Legacies) before it aired its emotional finale in March 2017.
In honor of TVD‘s 10th anniversary, we’re revealing some surprising facts you might not know about the show, like which pop star The CW originally wanted to play Elena, the many off-screen relationships that went down during the show’s right-year run and that time four of the stars were arrested during a season onephotoshoot…