The Vampire Diaries is about to enter its sixth season — aka the final season stars Nina Dobrev (Elena), Ian Somerhalder (Damon), and Paul Wesley (Stefan) are contracted through. It’s hard to imagine the show without the central trio. Would executive producer Julie Plec continue the show without its stars?


Julie told Zap2it: “I'm sure that people who do the accounting books might envision that kind of future, but I know that, for me, The Vampire Diaries is this beautiful ensemble of people that are very committed to the show and seem to remain committed, so as long as they're willing to stick around and we're willing to stick around, I can't see us passing the torch to anybody else. When that day does come, if it does come, we'll make those decisions then.”

It sounds like Julie would rather not continue the show without its original cast of characters, but that she would be open to the idea. It also sounds like there’s a chance Nina, Ian, and Paul would extend their contracts past this upcoming season, should The CW choose to renew TVD for a seventh season. Though TVD has dropped in the ratings, it remains the network’s highest rated show in key demographics, if not total viewers. We can’t imagine The CW canceling the show after the sixth season. However, if ratings continue to drop and some or all of the show’s cast decide against extending their contracts, who knows what might happen.

When asked last month if Season 6 would be the show’s final season, Julie answered with a definitive “no,” before adding to Entertainment Weekly: “It’s not on our radar yet. You could ask 10 different people that question and you’d get 10 different answers, in terms of how long the life of the show is. Warner Bros. would say, ‘17 seasons!’ And I think I would say, ‘Seven!’ [Laughs] Presumably we’ll land somewhere closer to my wishes or theirs, depending on the circumstances.”

Do you think TVD should continue on past the sixth season? Would you watch the show if the original cast were no longer on it? Sound off in the comments below!

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!