The news of star Nina Dobrev’s departure from The Vampire Diaries has fans in a tizzy. Will this show be able to go on without her? Well, it’s going to try. A seventh season has already been announced, a decision presumably made with the knowledge that Nina wouldn’t be returning. But will Season 7 of TVD be its last? Let’s take a look at the factors...
The rest of the cast/characters. Though we actually have high hopes for what TVD could look like following Nina’s departure, there’s only so much changeover this show can take. Though it is an ensemble show, there’s no doubt that Nina, Ian Somerhalder, and Paul Wesley are the core of the cast. Nina’s exit leaves two of the three main stars left. If both Paul and Ian stick around, then we think TVD could easily continue. What are the odds that these two will want to stay? Well, 7+ years on one TV show is a long time. However, though both Paul and Ian have pursued projects outside of TVD, they have also proven themselves interested in using the show as a way to try out their directorial skills. Unlike Nina, whose interests — at least for now — seem more firmly rooted in film acting, Ian and Paul are able to work on indie films, global activism, and building a directorial resume while still starring on TVD. This could bode well for their future with TVD.
There’s also Candice Accola and Kat Graham to consider. Though these two may not have started this show as main stars, they have gained a huge following amongst the TVD fan base, with many asking for their storylines to be given more time even before the announcement that Nina would be leaving. Yes, the Delena and Stelena fans are powerful, but even the most fervid shippers no doubt watch TVD for myriad reasons. After six years, we are invested in all of these characters’ lives. Though we will miss Elena, that doesn’t mean we don’t still want to hang out with these other characters we have grown to love.
The ratings. Of course, when it comes down to it, a show will only be renewed if its ratings merit it. Currently, TVD is still one of The CW’s top-rated shows in the key demographic, but its numbers have been dropping steadily over the course of the past few seasons. If TVD’s ratings drop below a certain point, it won’t matter how invested the cast, crew, or fans are — the show will be canceled. How low would the ratings have to drop to warrant cancellation? Well, much of it is dependent on how other shows on The CW are doing. If TVD is pulling in low numbers, but Reign, Beauty and the Beast, etc. are pulling in even lower numbers, then TVD would probably be OK.
Julie Plec’s other shows. Though TVD executive producer Julie Plec has proven herself capable of balancing several shows at once (last season she worked as an executive producer on TVD, The Originals, and The Tomorrow People), it’s hard not to imagine that Julie’s developmental load won’t play some kind of factor in TVD’s future. We think TVD could continue with less involvement from Julie, but her diminished involvement could spell the end. Last season, when her attention was torn between three separate shows, TVD arguably suffered for it and a show that declines creatively usually declines in the ratings. Right now, Julie has one new show in development (that we know of). She is developing Cordon for The CW. It might not get a pickup, but — given Julie’s history of churning out winners for the network — there’s a good chance that it will. On its own, a new show for Julie wouldn’t mean the end of TVD, but — at a certain point — these factors start building up.
Conclusion. TVD’s days be numbered — for many reasons — but we’re still constantly amazed by TVD’s staying power. Whether the vampire drama survives past its seventh season or not, we’ll always be thankful for all of the amazing seasons of television this show has produced. Beside, we’ll just be waiting for The Vampire Diaries revival season in 15 years.
Do you think Season 7 will be TVD’s last? Do you want it to be its last? Sound off in the comments below!
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.