Ian Somerhalder Leaving 'The Vampire Diaries'? Or Is The Show Getting Cancelled After Nina Dobrev's Exit?

Things are not looking good for the newest season of The Vampire Diaries. Apart from dealing with the departure of Nina Dobrev, the show has been struggling with gaining viewers and was recently shifted from its usual Thursday night to Friday. With rumors of an end approaching, is Ian Somerhalder getting ready to jump ship before the show is cancelled?

Based on the report by Movie News Guide, the show's decrease in ratings has a direct correlation to Dobrev's exit at the end of last season. Dobrev's character, Elena Gilbert, was the lead character for the show since its very beginning, and her romance with Damon (Somerhalder) was something that attributed to the show's success. With Dobrev no longer a part of the series, it would appear as though fans are following suit by not tuning in.

Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev on 'The Vampire Diaries.' [Image via The CW]
Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev on The Vampire Diaries. [Image via The CW]Even more, the low ratings are also an indication that fans are not liking the new direction the show has taken in regards to Somerhalder's character. Ultimately, this has led to the series being moved from its longstanding Thursday night slot to Friday night. Does this mean that Somerhalder may be considering leaving the show before it's too late?

According to Celebrity Dirty Laundry, Somerhalder is really worried about the future of the series, especially considering the latest developments. Whether or not he is worried enough to leave the show and move on to a new project is uncertain. At this time, Ian Somerhalder has not made any official announcements on the matter.

Meanwhile, with the series seeing a decrease in viewers by 33 percent from Season 6, there have been rumors that Dobrev might make a cameo appearance in the seventh season. In fact, Paul Wesley, who portrays Stefan in the hit series, revealed to TV Insider that Elena's story is still a part of the show.

"Elena's still a very big part of the story. Her body's in danger in the first few episodes," he explained. "And Damon is doing everything he can to make sure it stays safe if and when she wakes up."

However, if fans are holding out hope for a possible return by Dobrev they may be disappointed. In an interview with Interview Magazine, the former Vampire Diaries star confirmed that her time on the show was over, and that she was moving on to new and exciting projects.

"That chapter is closed, sadly — bittersweet," she stated in the interview. "I don't just want to do things that are the pretty girl with lots of makeup, I want to get into the gritty stuff and get down and dirty and dark and really feed my soul and not my vanity. I only want to keep moving up and up in terms of quality and be careful with perception."

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley on 'The Vampire Diaries.' [Image via The CW]
Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley on The Vampire Diaries. [Image via The CW]With Dobrev not set to make a return to the show, the series has been forced to explore new directions for its characters. This is something that Somerhalder admitted was challenging for the show at the end of last season, but was hoped would ease the transition.

"By virtue of the fact that it wasn't a huge leap for mankind, as far as changing it up, there were some differences that sort of mixed up the formula," he told the outlet.

Despite all of their efforts to produce a new formula, the storyline has yet to catch on with the show's popular fan base. If this doesn't change soon, and a bump in ratings isn't significantly improved, then the show will likely be cancelled by the network. Whether or not Somerhalder leaves before this happens is yet to be seen.

Tell us! Do you think that Ian Somerhalder will leave The Vampire Diaries? Or do you think it will be cancelled? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image via The CW]