The Vampire Diaries Franchise Finally Bites The Dust

Well, here's some sadly apropos news for this Friday the 13th. In case you missed it, yesterday The CW enacted a full-scale gutting of their own network, canceling an entire swath of shows ranging from "Dynasty" to "Charmed" to Ava DuVernay's superhero drama "Naomi." As we speculated in this round-up of the news, this sweeping measure to clean house almost certainly comes as a result of the network's impending sale – all rumors currently point to an acquisition by Nexstar Media Group, which would in all likelihood spell the end for The CW as we know it. That's not to say that every is now living on borrowed time, as major properties like "Riverdale," DC's "Gotham Knights," and the "Supernatural" prequel "Winchesters" all seem to be trucking right along.

But as first reported by TVLine, one series cancellation in particular might have become lost in the shuffle, without receiving the due recognition it deserves: "Legacies." The end of the spin-off show and third total series taking place in "The Vampire Diaries" franchise now brings the long-running IP to an inauspicious end. For the first time in over 12 years, there won't be a single remnant left of the once-popular vampire drama. Given that this just so happens to coincide with this year's centennial celebration of "Nosferatu" (you may have heard that we've marked the anniversary with an ongoing "Year of the Vampire" series every week) and the fact that "The Vampire Diaries" holds a special place in the hearts of many fans, this can't help but feel particularly bittersweet.

"Legacies" ran for a total of four seasons, led by Danielle Rose Russell as the vampire/werewolf/witch Hope Mikaelson during her attendance of the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Think "X-Men" but with, you know, lots more fangs and gleefully supernatural tropes. Other regular cast members included Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman, Aria Shahghasemi as Landon Kirby, Kaylee Bryant as Josie Saltzman, Jenny Boyd as Lizzie Saltzman, Quincy Fouse as Milton "MG" Greasley, Chris Lee as Kaleb, Ben Levin as Jed, Leo Howard as Ethan, and Omono Okojie as Cleo.

Series creator, writer, director, and executive producer Julie Plec took to Twitter to mourn the terribly sad day when so many cast and crew lost their jobs:

Long live The Vampire Diaries!

Ah, the innocent days of 2009. Just in time to take advantage of the pop culture craze surrounding the "Twilight" franchise, "The Vampire Diaries" burst onto the scene in September of that year and immediately rode the wave of that other vampire series to become an unprecedented ratings bonanza for The CW. Justifying the decision to adapt author L. J. Smith's novel series of the same name, the original series went on to last eight total seasons and spawn two entire spin-offs.

Alas, the good bloodsucking times were never going to last forever, especially after lead actor and incredibly popular star Nina Dobrev parted ways with the series after the sixth season. Predictably, ratings and interest plummeted after her departure, though Dobrev did return one final time to guest star in the series finale. Invested viewers subsequently had "The Originals" and then "Legacies" to tide them over in the aftermath, continuing the story of the original series in some form, at least, and keeping the legacy of the franchise alive for 13 total years.

And look, I get it — it's probably easy to turn one's nose up at a bunch of silly vampire shows that never could recreate the magic of its heyday. But a day like yesterday shows just how thankless and unforgiving the television industry can be. Any franchise that lasts as long as this one did deserves recognition, even (perhaps especially) when it comes to such an abrupt end.

The cancellation of "Legacies" has ripple effects far beyond just the one show. It's the end of an era, for better or worse. After almost a decade and a half, "The Vampire Diaries" is finally dead. Long live "The Vampire Diaries."