The Vampire Diaries
CW, Thursdays, 8 ET/PT, Sept. 10
Think of it as One Tree Hill with sharper teeth.
Chances are, your first inclination is to think of Vampire Diaries as a rip-off of True Blood and Twilight — even though the book it's based on predates both. But beneath the gothic trappings, Vampire (produced by Dawson's Creek's Kevin Williamson) is just CW doing what it does: building a teen soap around the complicated lives of impossibly pretty, alarmingly worldly young people who manage to seem prosperous even with no visible means of support.
Adults are likely to steer clear, but the show isn't made for them. It's made for young women and girls who have a current affection for vampires and a long-standing affection for the good boy/bad boy dynamic. That should be enough to draw them in.
And that's the only ratings hill CW has any interest in climbing.