Executive producer Julie Plec announced at Comic-Con in San Diego, California, on Saturday the vampire drama series, which debuted back in 2009, will be no more. "We all have discussed it and we've made the decision that this is it," she said according to E! Online. "This is going to be the final season of The Vampire Diaries. It's bittersweet and emotional and we're all going to be crying in a minute. "It's been a beautiful run... get ready, because it's going to be an epic ride."
Stars Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, who play brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore, also expressed their sadness after the news was announced.
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"The sun, the moon and stars aligned for me one day in March when I got the official call that I had been cast in this very special role as Damon Salvatore," Somerhalder said. "I'm so very grateful to those who fought for me to have this opportunity (you know who you are), for those that have worked so hard to make this show happen, and to those that have loyally watched it, making it part of their lives."
The 37-year-old added the show had enriched his life more than anything he had ever done in his career and that it would live on in his heart.
"We are a family and I will miss you," he continued. "Thank you again to this amazing cast and crew, Kevin, Julie, Warner Bros., The CW and the most loyal fan base the world has ever seen. Wow, what a ride."
Wesley also paid tribute to the show which boosted his career, and thanked Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson for casting him.
"Being cast in The Vampire Diaries has changed the trajectory of my life, to say the very least," he explained. "I'm beyond fortunate for the experiences I've had and lessons I've learned over the last seven years.
The actor also thanked the creators and the network before turning his attention to the viewers, adding: "TVD fans all around the world who are the reason this show became such a worldwide success. I am beyond grateful to have been a part of it."
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The eighth and final season will be 16 episodes long, and will air on 21 October, 2016 in the U.S.
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