Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW ©2010 The CW Network, LLC. Photo: Sheriff Forbes and Mason in Episode 2.5, "Kill or Be Killed"
Where’s my Vampire Diaries? The question could be heard across the land last night. So why was there a rerun? We have the scoop from Julie Plec, TVD’s executive producer.

“It’s actually something that the network does,” she explains. “They build in a breather [week] because they want us to be able to get as many original episodes on early in the year as possible.”

Here’s how it works: TVD’s cast and crew starts shooting episodes in mid-July so they’ll have a few in the can when the show premieres in September. Their goal is to get us to Thanksgiving with as few repeats as possible. But that sounds easier to do than it is. See, it takes about nine days to shoot a whopper like “Kill or Be Killed.” Then you have to add on another day or two for post-production.

As you know, the show airs once a week. That means, while they can make five complete kick-ass eps in 50 days, it only takes 35 days to air that many shows in a row. So, says Plec, “Post production literally runs out of time on or around episode six to complete episodes in time for air and still get us all the way to Thanksgiving.” The solution, she adds, is to “build in one repeat somewhere in the first nine episodes so that we have time to make it all the way to Thanksgiving with original episodes.”

Translation: To stay ahead of the game, the CW plans a down week. “It’s funny but it’s the only way we can make it,” says Plec. “Otherwise we’d literally run out of time.” Basically, we have to sacrifice a week now so we can have more new eps in a row later. Okay, just so long as we only have to wait a week, because any longer and we’d be dying!

For a sneak peek at next week’s all-new episode, watch the preview: