he Vampire Diaries, a one-hour American supernatural drama, was renewed for a fourth season by the U.S. channel The CW on May 3, 2012, seven days before the third season's finale. Unlike the previous seasons that aired in September, it premiered on October 11, 2012, to avoid competition from major television shows. Season 4 consisted of 23 episodes instead of the usual 22 episodes. All the previous season's characters returned as series regulars apart from Matthew Davis, who was killed off in the Season 3 finale but made guest appearances in the second, twenty-second and twenty-third episodes of the new season.
On January 11, 2013, it was announced that a back-door pilot focused on the Originals, titled The Originals will air on April 25 for series pick-up. On April 26, 2013, The CW announced that The Originals, The Vampire Diaries' spin-off series, was picked up for a full season slated to premiere next fall.
On February 11, 2013, The CW renewed the series for a fifth season.Overview from themoviedb.org