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By XANDRA HARBET

"The Vampire Diaries" debuted a few years after "Supernatural,” and the show similarly features co-dependent brothers who fall on a sword (or fang) for each other. The Salvatores tend to be the hunted instead of the hunters, and in a perpetual love triangle with a Mystic Falls local, Elena Gilbert.

The Vampire Diaries

Long before "Supernatural,” "The X-Files" helped define the investigative supernatural genre with a sci-fi twist. The impact of "The X-Files" is such that “Supernatural” acknowledges its predecessor with nods in several episodes.

The X-Files

This Superman prequel made "Supernatural" possible with its monster-of-the-week setup. There’s also a familiar face in Season 4 of the series, as Jensen Ackles headed to Smallville playing coach Jason Teague just one year before he was Dean on "Supernatural."

Smallville

"Supernatural" fans love hate-watching their favorite characters die, as do fans of the long-lived zombie series "The Walking Dead." Also, Hollywood needs more Jeffrey Dean Morgan — and "The Walking Dead" was there to fulfill that wish between Morgan's later stints on "Supernatural."

The Walking Dead

The Winchesters and the "True Blood" crew have much more in common than people might expect. Like “Supernatural,” "True Blood" hinges on loyalty, family, and a central location where the vamps can be themselves.

True Blood