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The Vampire Diaries: How Many Episodes Are There?

Over the years, The CW has historically shown a special love for creating teen dramas. Though many have fallen into small screen obscurity, others like "Riverdale" and "Beverly Hills, 90210" remain pop culture fixtures. "The Vampire Diaries" is one such show that performed well with CW viewers, building quite a sizable fanbase throughout its eight years on TV. Using the books of the same name by L.J. Smith as a guide, the series focuses on the mysterious town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, where danger, romance, and intrigue are in abundance.

Seeing as many viewers were incredibly dedicated to the exploits of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), "The Vampire Diaries" proved to be anything but a flash in the pan. From late 2009 to early 2017, it managed to accumulate an impressive eight seasons — a number that few teen dramas ever come close to earning. These batches of episodes together amount to an equally impressive 171 installments for the show to hang its hat on.

Suffice to say, 171 episodes is quite a lengthy binge for those seeking to dive into "The Vampire Diaries" for the first time. One might be intimidated to learn that the franchise doesn't stop there.

The Vampire Diaries spawned an expanded TV universe

In response to the resounding success of "The Vampire Diaries," The CW went ahead and turned the series into a chapter in a wider shared universe. "The Originals" – the story of vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) — was the first spin-off to arrive, debuting in late 2013. It didn't ultimately stick around for as long as its predecessor, but it did well all the same. "The Originals" aired for five seasons and amassed 92 episodes, which significantly increases the length of the "Vampire Diaries" universe viewing experience.

Seemingly hopeful that it could put out a second successful "Vampire Diaries" off-shoot, The CW went ahead with yet another spin-off title in 2018. "Legacies" puts the spotlight on Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell), Klaus' daughter, who previously made her introduction on "The Originals." Keeping the trend going, "Legacies" didn't enjoy as long of a TV tenure as the series that came immediately before it. The program lasted for four seasons and 68 episodes, bidding CW viewers farewell in mid-2022.

Evidently, there's a lot of "Vampire Diaries" TV media out there to watch, but if you're a fan of the series that started it all or one of the many who came to love one of its spin-offs first, tackling the entire franchise could be well worth the time investment.