This is When The Vampire Diaries Will End

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With The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 10 on January 29, this beloved CW drama will shift to Friday nights.

That can't bode very well for its long-term future, can it?

Wide Awake - The Vampire Diaries

Not exactly.

But creator Julie Plec spoke to Variety at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Monday and made it sound like she's prepared to keep The Vampire Diaries going for as long as possible.

Under one condition, that is.

"My end game needs to... emotionally run parallel with the end game of [Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder] -  more so than the network and the studio," she said.

"When those boys decide that they’re done telling stories - which could be tomorrow and could be a year from now or two years from now or whatever - I need to be done.

"I feel like I owe them that and I owe the show that. It’s a collective decision. Right now, they’re in the driver’s seat of that and we’ll see how much longer they feel like they want to be doing this."

The series lost fellow lead Nina Dobrev at the end of Season 6.

And while Plec says she misses the actress dearly and would take her back in an an "instant" if Dobrev so desired, she also admits that she and her writing staff has been reinvigorated by having to come up with new, Elena-free storylines.

"Every year we’re like, ‘We’ll never figure out what next year is going to be!’ And then we come up with an idea that’s cooler.

"It gets harder and harder so there will come a point where I’ll have to say I have zero ideas left, but right now, I still feel pretty inspired by it so I’m just taking it one day at a time."

Which is encouraging for fans of this long-running drama to hear, of course.

But ratings are way down for The Vampire Diaries Season 7.

Plec may talk an inspirational game, but if the audience isn't there, will The CW really let her end the series whenever she (and Paul and Ian) want to?

The Vampire Diaries returns with new episodes on FRIDAY, Janaury 29 at 8/7c.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Vampire Diaries Quotes

You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger... I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.

Damon

Damon: You know what they are? Children. Like lighting a candle's going to make everything OK, or even saying a prayer. Or pretending Elena's not going to end up just like the rest of us murdering vampires. Stupid, delusional, exasperating little children. And I know what you're going to say: 'It makes them feel better, Damon.' So what? For how long? A minute, a day? What difference does it make? Because in the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is hole in your life where that somebody that you cared about used to be. And a rock with a birthday carved into it that I'm pretty sure is wrong. So thanks, friend. Thanks for leaving me here to babysit. Because I should be long gone by now. I didn't get the girl, remember? I'm just stuck here fighting my brother and taking care of the kids. You owe me big.
Alaric: I miss you too, buddy.