When Is 'The Vampire Diaries' Ending? Season 8 Comes With Some Bittersweet News, Fans

It looks like another major show is set to end next year. It was recently announced at San Diego Comic-Con that the eighth season of The Vampire Diaries will be the last. The announcement of this final season may come as a shock to fan of the show, but all signs point to it as an expected event from those involved. The Vampires Diaries creator Julie Plec stated in a press release that "[i]t’s so rare for a show to get to last this long [...] It’s been eight of the best years of my life. I will miss it terribly, but I’m so proud to be here to see it to its proper end." Meanwhile, there were stirrings of an end for the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter, when both Kat Graham and Ian Somerhalder indicated they intended to move on once the eighth season was over. All things considered, cast and crew alike have all agreed that while The Vampires Diaries has had a major impact on their lives and careers, the time is right to step away. So, with this news in mind, when will The Vampire Diaries end?

Well, it looks like fans won't have to wait much longer. The final season will premiere at 8 p.m. Friday, October 21. The season is set to consist of 16 episodes but with no word on the possibility of a mid-season hiatus, an air date for the finale is yet to be released. Considering the show normally airs its season finales in mid-May, it stands to reason the series finale could air then too — however, it's worth noting that normally, seasons consist of 22 episodes, so a shortened season could pull a potential series finale date up.

It's been a thoroughly wild ride for The Vampires Diaries. Since it's premiered in 2009, it has been one of the highest-performing shows on the network. The fandom The Vampires Diaries has created has also been monumental, proving itself be such a beloved property that it spawned a spinoff (The Originals). With The CW approaching critical mass with its fall 2016 schedule, it comes as no surprise that sacrifices had to be made. Luckily for TVD, the show will be able to properly devote a whole season to wrapping up all the storylines of our favorite characters.

Take a look at the just-released retrospective of the show, with commentary from cast and crew, as well as fun archival footage from early seasons.

Image: Blake Tyers/The CW