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‘Vampire Diaries’ more than a ‘Twilight’ knockoff
On a balmy August night in Georgia, a fountain blazes with light in the middle of a small lake. As a swank party unfolds behind a nearby mansion, two figures meet in silhouette on the shore: a teenage girl and the soulful vampire she loves.Canadian newcomer Nina Dobrev ("Degrassi: The Next Generation”) and Paul Wesley ("Fallen”) are going through a scene as Elena Gilbert and Stefan Salvatore in "The Vampire Diaries,” a new thriller premiering at 8 p.m. Thursday on CW. Based on a series of novels by L.J. Smith and set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Va., the series revolves around the romance between these two characters, a relationship that is complicated by the presence of Stefan’s villainous brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder, "Lost”). If the basic premise and characters sound remarkably like a riff on a certain best-selling book and blockbuster movie, well, executive producer Kevin Williamson ("Scream,” "Dawson’s Creek”) knows that’s probably inevitable. "This actually came out before ‘Twilight,’” Williamson says. "The series of books is from 1990-91, so one would wonder if Stephenie Meyer (whose ‘Twilight’ came out in 2005) read them. The very first book is very much ‘Twilight,’ and that’s why I ... passed on this project a couple of times because I never got past the first book.