8:33pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'The Vampire Diaries' Star Ian Somerhalder Retracts Final Season Remarks
Ian Somerhalder is changing his tune.
Days after The Vampire Diaries star proclaimed at WalkerStalkerCon that the eighth season of The CW drama would be its last, he posted a lengthy statement clarifying his comments and downplaying the end of the series.
"Last weekend I talked to an audience at a Q&A about the end of #TVD and how excited I was to make what I believe — my last year — be as great as possible," he wrote. "Somehow in my infinite wisdom and end-of-season foggy brain, I managed to make it sound like the show was coming to an end."
"Thing is, the people who actually make that decision (the CW and WB) haven't made it yet," he continued. "So let's take things one step at a time: season seven wrap, vacation, lots of sleep, let the writers get started on season eight, and then we'll all see where we go from there."
Although it is a backtrack of sorts, Somerhalder's latest remarks still suggest he will depart after next season. He would join longtime star Kat Graham, who announced earlier this month that season eight will be her last. The long-running series, which is produced by Warner Bros. Television, has already survived one major cast departure after star Nina Dobrev exited the series last season.
If Somerhalder follows Graham to the exit door next season, that would only leave original stars Paul Wesley, Candice King and Zach Roerig. The season-eight renewal — announced last month along with the bulk of The CW's lineup — was said to have hinged on Somerhalder's return, and executive producer Julie Plec told THR following Dobrev's exit in season six that her staff had already pitched season eight.
"We've always said as long as we feel like we can keep the show fresh and moving forward, we can keep making it," she said last May. "We have a lot of actors that love remaining with the show, and we have writers who are thrilled to remain with the show, and crew who would love to keep going. As long as people keep watching, we'll try to keep making it until we run out of ideas. We run out of ideas or we run out of viewers — whatever comes first. (Laughs.) But we're really committed to the show. When it is time to end, we all agreed we'll decide that together, and we want to go out sailing."
The Vampire Diaries, along with spinoff The Originals, was moved to Fridays earlier this year. Following the move to the typically low-rated night, both series have faced lower expectations from the network and have helped improve ratings versus last year.
Once the cornerstone of The CW's primetime lineup, the series has begun to show its age. In the past few years, the drama was bypassed as the network's most watched show by The Flash, as The CW has made DC Comics fare a priority.