Originally, Kevin Williamson had limited credit in producing the series, obtaining the premise too related to other vampire stories. At the urging of Julie Plec, he started to read the novels and began to grow intrigued by the story: “I began to realize that it was a tale about a petite town, about that town’s underbelly and about what lurks under the cover.”Williamson has stated the town’s tale will be the central focus of the series rather than high school. 

On February 6, 2009, Variety advertised that The CW had green-lit the pilot for The Vampire Diaries with Williamson and Julie Plec set as the top authors and managing producers. On May 19, 2009, the series was formally established for the 2009–2010 season.

The pilot scene was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, but the rest of the scenes have been filmed in Covington, Georgia (which increases as the show’s fictional small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia) and several other areas around Greater Atlanta to take benefit of local tax purposes. On the day of May 10, 2012, a fire broke out in the building on Clark Street in Covington that was used as the background for Mystic Grill on the display.

The series was given a full 22-episode order on October 21, 2009, after great ratings for the first half of the season. Now there is a spin-off called The Originals, that goes into wisdom about the first vampire family from The Vampire Diaries. On February 16, 2010, The CW advertised that it had replaced the show for a second season, which premiered on September 9, 2010. On April 26, 2011, The CW recreated the show for a third season. The third season premiered on September 15, 2011. The fourth season premiered October 11, 2012. The CW recreated the program for a fifth season on February 11, 2013. On February 13, 2014, The CW renewed the series for a sixth season. On January 11, 2015, the CW renewed the series for a seventh season.

President of The CW, Mark Pedowitz, said in an interview at the summer TCA’s that The Vampire Diaries didn’t get an additional episode order for the next season at the behest of Kevin Williamson. Kevin Williamson felt to do the best show potential, he would rather do 22 episodes. “I’d rather have a great 22 than a good 24 if Kevin couldn’t do it,” he explained. The first writers meeting for the fifth season held on April 15, 2013. Filming began on July 10, 2013, and concluded on April 10, 2014. On July 23, 2016, it was advertised that the show would end after a 16-episode eighth season.