LONDON – The hit US series The Vampire Diaries will be available in ITV2’s new iTunes area the day after new original episodes are broadcast in the US in January, it was jointly announced today by Warner Bros. Entertainment UK and ITV.
In what is being billed as a UK media industry first for a newly acquired series, this unique initiative has been designed to give fans the chance to download the show straight after US transmission, build significant buzz for the ITV2 channel premiere in February, and combat online copyright theft.
Based on the best-selling book series by L.J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries is a new drama from Kevin Williamson (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Dawson’s Creek), in which two vampire brothers – one good, one evil – are at war for the soul of a high school girl and those of her friends and family. Nina Dobrev (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Paul Wesley (Everwood) and Ian Somerhalder (Lost) star.
On its launch in September, The Vampire Diaries delivered the most-watched series premiere in The CW’s history and the #1 ranking for its target audience (women, teens and female teens). Critically acclaimed, it has been picked up for a full 22 episode first season.
Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. Entertainment UK commented, “We’re committed to providing our shows with the best possible launch platform. This highly innovative approach to releasing The Vampire Diaries gives us and ITV2 the chance to maximise excitement ahead of its UK premiere in February, and provides consumers with a high-quality legal alternative to pirated versions”
Zai Bennett, Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, ITV, added, “Recent hits such as Gossip Girl have demonstrated how new entertainment brands can be fuelled by the passion of early adopters. By making The Vampire Diaries available in the ITV2 area on iTunes we’re feeding the appetite for brand new US content and helping to spread the word about a show we’re incredibly excited about”
The first 10 episodes, which have already been broadcast in the States, will be made available in the ITV2 area in the coming weeks. The first episode will be available this Friday (11th December).
The Vampire Diaries also stars Steven R. McQueen, Sara Canning, Katerina Graham, Candice Accola, Zach Roerig, Kayla Ewell and Michael Trevino.
The series was developed for television by Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec, who serve as executive producers with Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy. The Vampire Diaries is from Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios.