NEW YORK (AP) — "The Vampire Diaries," known for its plot twists and supernatural lore, is doing some shape-shifting.
The sixth season of The CW series (Thursdays, 8 p.m. EDT) about vampires, witches, werewolves and the humans who love (or hate them) has a change in tone, with more focus on characters.
"What we tried to do ... is boil the mythology down to a basic idea," explained show runner Julie Plec in a recent interview. She said the suspense and mystery is still there, "but it's grounded in character development" and "very emotional."
In recent seasons, the show became a bit confusing to follow, even for the most loyal fans.
"I think the writers knew they kind of needed to wipe out everything that had existed for the past five seasons and start with something fresh," said Paul Wesley, who plays vampire Stefan Salvatore, "because it's just so difficult to keep plotting twists and turns and getting yourself eventually stuck in a situation where it's all gonna combust."
"Vampire Diaries" stars Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, who play vampire brothers, and Nina Dobrev, who plays their love interest.
"It's really virtually impossible to maintain the same sort of story or love story for six seasons straight," Wesley said. "Characters change and people grow. I think the show is incorporating that."
Plec and her team have separated two of the main characters from the rest of the cast (for now) by having them trapped in a purgatory-like world.
That's been "the most fun," she said. "Pairing characters that aren't normally paired with each other and separating characters that the audience is so used to seeing together."
Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar