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Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Vampire Diaries

Bob Mahoney/The CW

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The Vampire Diaries (CW)

Premiere: Thursday, Sept. 10, 8-9 p.m.
Competition: Survivor: Samoa, FlashForward, Bones, SNL Weekend Update, Parks & Recreation
Cast: Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev
Status: We've seen the first episode.

Should you watch The Vampire Diaries? Read on...

Don't go calling this a Twilight ripoff, even if the CW only greenlighted the show because of the Twilight phenom. TVD goes way back, and depending how closely the series follows the best-selling books, you might wonder why author L.J. Smith hasn't filed a copyright infringement lawsuit of her own against Stephenie Meyer.

Here's the (familiar) premise: Elena (Dobrev) is a forlorn high schooler mourning her parents' death when a mysterious, enthralling new boy, Stefan (Wesley), arrives at her school and captures her heart.

But true love must overcome the usual hurdles—the boy being a vampire and all that—and more difficult challenges, like Stefan's wickedly sexy older brother, Damon (Somerhalder), exsanguinating the townspeople of Mystic Falls...and stalking Elena.

As Somerhalder told us at Comic-Con, the CW series "might be an edgier version of Twilight." (We got that from the violent attack in the opening scene.)

And you know what, fangthusiasts? "Twilight comes once a year," observes Somerhalder, "[but The Vampire Diaries] comes once a week."

No one captures teen angst better than writer-producer Kevin Williamson (Dawson's Creek), whose biting dialogue elevates a potentially sappy story—it's worth a weekly visit to Mystic Falls.

Verdict: Watch

Are you interested in The Vampire Diaries? Share your thoughts in the comments!


Find out more about the season's new shows in our Fall TV Preview photo gallery!