12:38pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Vampire Diaries' Will End With Season 8, Star Ian Somerhalder Says
The end may be in sight for The CW's The Vampire Diaries.
"We have decided to do one last season to really do the story justice," star Ian Somerhalder told fans Sunday at WalkerStalkerCon in Nashville.
A spokesperson for The CW tells The Hollywood Reporter that no decision has been made when it comes to the future of the show beyond season eight.
The news comes as the Julie Plec vampire drama is marching toward its May 13 season seven finale and after the show last month was renewed for an eighth season as the network picked up nearly its entire scripted slate for the 2016-17 broadcast season.
The season eight renewal was said to hinge on star Somerhalder inking a new deal to return to the series, which with spinoff The Originals was moved to Fridays earlier this year.
Following the move to the typically low-rated Fridays — where both series face lower expectations from the network — the Vampire Diaries and The Originals block has helped improve the network's year-over-year draw.
Somerhalder's comments come days after female lead Kat Graham announced that season eight would be her last and said that producers planned to "blow [the series] out."
While once the cornerstone of The CW, the series based on the books of the same name has, like many other veteran series, 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 (including Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow) a priority.
Speaking to THR following female lead Nina Dobrev's exit in season six, executive producer Plec said her staff had pitched season eight as the series was rebooting itself for season seven.
"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."