Credit: NBC

How will NBC’s new Dracula TV series compare to successful hit vampire-themed shows like HBO’s True Blood and The CW’s highly popular The Vampire Diaries? With a star like Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the title role, and producers on board from Downton Abbey, Dracula could be a massive hit.

However, with a musty Victorian London setting and the huge departure from the source material of the original
Dracula story by Bram Stoker, it could also be a giant flop. (This Dracula comes from America, not Romania, and he doesn’t even call himself Count Dracula.)

NBC has no doubt taken notice of the huge fan bases generated by HBO’s hit series True Blood and The CW’s highly popular The Vampire Diaries, not to mention the enormous success of movies like Twilight and Underworld. So jumping on board the vampire bandwagon might seem like the perfect idea, especially with a star like Jonathan Rhys Meyers on board to play Dracula himself.

However, if you look at all the big hit vampire TV series and movies listed above, there is one really strong theme running through them all — they are set in the present or near-future world, not the historical past. While shows like Downton Abbey have proven a historical drama can capture a modern audience, we’re not sure that will translate when you add a supernatural element like vampirism.

The new Dracula TV series could potentially grab the interest of a slightly older audience than the typical vampire-loving teen fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Twilight or Vampire Diaries, if the historical setting doesn’t prove too disconnecting. If Dracula can appeal to the more mature demographic of Game of ThronesOnce Upon a Time, Being Human, and True Blood fans, the series could end up being a win for NBC.

We have high hopes from the initial Dracula TV series trailer — and the fact that the show was sent directly to series, skipping the pilot process — but we’ll have to see it in action for a few episodes before we’ll really know how well NBC is going to pull off this very different take on the Dracula story.

Dracula premieres on NBC in the fall and will air on Friday nights. Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think of the new series!