Hey, have you heard the news? Vampires are so totally IN, people! Novelists who pen vampire books are raking in millions, Summit Entertainment is becoming a major Hollywood player thanks to the success of Twilight, and HBO's True Blood continues to break ratings records with each subsequent episode it airs. And now, this fall, the CW is getting in on the bloodsucking action with the debut of the new show from storied showrunner Kevin Williamson, The Vampire Diaries. So why are they doing everything they can to convince the television critics congregated at TCA that their show is more than a lusty tale of a virginal girl being wooed by a pair of centuries-old vampire brothers who share a predilection for underage women?
Well, it seems that Williamson and the rest of the team over at the CW are fearful that their show will be perceived as being nothing more than a watered-down Twilight rip-off. The Los Angeles Times reports that Williamson told a panel of critics, "After [the show gets] beyond the premise of the girl and a vampire, we are trying to tell the story of a town." Really? In our experience, television shows about towns that aren't named Stars Hollow or Sunnydale or Twin Peaks are almost universally dull (see: October Road, Jericho, Mayberry).
Lest you think that quote was not representative of the conversation as a whole, The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd notes that Williamson followed up by saying, "There's this darkness that lies underneath this town ... it's not a high-school show, it's more a story of a small town." To which we say, "Oh, brother." Our advice? Just start writing some formulaic episodes about a book-smart but shy teenage girl who's torn between wanting to date the quarterback of the football team and fraternizing with some lecherously emo vampire siblings and watch the ratings start rolling in.
TCA Press Tour: It's all about vampires [Show Tracker/LAT]
How 'Vampire Diaries' isn't a pervy 'Twilight' ripoff [Live Feed/HR]