SAN DIEGO, July 25 (UPI) -- The CW has confirmed long-swirling rumors that The Vampire Diaries will conclude its run with the upcoming 2016-17 season.
The announcement was made by executive producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec during the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, where a farewell video from the cast and producers was shown. The clip also featured the exclusive premiere of the new song "Changing Tides" by The Fray.
"It's so rare for a show to get to last this long, and what a privilege that Mark Pedowitz and Peter Roth have allowed us to choose the time to end the journey on our own creative terms," Plec said. "It's been eight of the best years of my life. I will miss it terribly, but I'm so proud to be here to see it to its proper end."
"The Vampire Diaries has meant so much to so many fans around the world and has meant so much to all of us at The CW," added Mark Pedowitz, the network's president. "I am a huge fan of the show myself, and I've seen every episode. So I am very happy that we can give Julie and Kevin the chance to finish their story the way they have envisioned, and to give viewers a fantastic conclusion to eight spectacular seasons."
"I feel so blessed to have been a part of The Vampire Diaries. It has been a magical, thrilling, life-changing experience," Williamson said. "Working with Julie and our amazing cast and crew has been one of the highlights of my career and life. At its core, the show has always been about family and that's what we have become behind the scenes as well -- one big family. And while it's sad to see it come to an end, I'm thrilled to be back and part of the final chapter. We're very grateful to our loyal audience -- they're our family, too -- and we hope to say thank you by giving them the last and most epic season ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
The eighth and final 16-episode season of The Vampire Diaries is to premiere Oct. 21. The show stars Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham.