21 Vampire TV Shows to Sink Your Teeth Into
While it’s been more than two decades since vampire shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” captivated weekly audiences in front of their television sets, that certainly hasn’t been the end of vampires taking to the small screen or streaming services. With rumours of a “True Blood” reboot circulating and the recent premiere of the YA lesbian romance Netflix series “First Kill,” vampire fans can always find new content to satisfy their cravings.
However, who can resist a classic vampire show or rewatching an old favourite, like “Angel” or “The Vampire Diaries”? But if you’re perhaps more enthralled with the comedic absurdity of vampires being mismatched roommates, a happy sitcom family, or a babysitter who stops the silliest villains at the local high school, this genre has you covered. With vampire shows like “Being Human” and “Vampire High,” you still get all the thrills and chills of sharp fangs and bloodsucking but with a campier twist.
If you’re waiting for more vampire shows to air, there are plenty that you can sink your teeth into right now. To help you find your next binge, we’ve rounded up the best vampire shows that span a variety of genres. From horrifying and hilarious to romantic and thrilling, prepare for a bloody good time when you give one of these vampire shows a watch.
"What We Do in the Shadows"
Based on the 2014 horror-comedy mockumentary of the same name, 2019’s “What We Do in the Shadows” follows four vampire roommates as they attempt to survive and thrive in modern-day Staten Island. The show kicks off with Baron Afanas, an ancient vampire from the Old Country, arriving on Staten Island and exclaiming that he wants to take over the entire western hemisphere. Even though this plan interferes with the vampire roommates’ mostly carefree lifestyles, the group and their familiars attend a city council meeting to convince officials to hand over New York. From there, plenty of hijinks and misadventures ensue.
This 2019 Netflix series is based on a comic book series and anthology of the same name. In “V Wars,” climate change has melted the ice enough to release a millennia-old biological agent that quickly spreads across the world. For some people, when the outbreak infects them, it interacts with a dormant part of their DNA that changes them into a vampire or a werewolf. As tensions mount between the growing number of vampires and the unaffected human beings, war looms on the horizon. Although the series was cancelled after one season, the show is still a fun watch for those looking for drama, action, and sharp fangs.
Based on a short story of the same name by Victoria Schwab, Netflix’s “First Kill” follows Juliette Fairmont, a teenage vampire who falls in love with Calliope “Cal” Burns, the new girl in town. However, it also turns out that Juliette is in fact a monster hunter from the Guardian Guild. Juliette needs to make her first kill to earn her place within her powerful vampire family, while Cal is supposed to kill vampires and other terrifying supernatural creatures. However, the duo can’t help their feelings for each other, causing rifts between themselves and their respective families.
"The Vampire Diaries"
Based on L.J. Smith’s teen book series of the same name, 2009’s “The Vampire Diaries” follows Elena Gilbert, a teenage orphan resident of the supernatural town of Mystic Falls. In the series, Elena falls in love with Stefan Savatore, a 162-year-old vampire, but when Stefan’s selfish brother Damon comes to town, things get complicated. Damon not only holds a grudge against his brother, but he also has an intense fascination with Elena, who looks exactly like a former vampire lover of his. The brothers are supposedly cursed to always have a sibling rivalry, but with both of them in Mystic Falls, Stefan and Damon slowly work to overcome their poor relationship. However, their little love triangle with Elena causes plenty of juicy drama.
2013’s “The Originals” is a spin-off of “The Vampire Diaries” that focuses on the Mikaelsons, a vampire family that are considered to be the first vampires to ever exist. After Klaus Mikaelson, the son of a witch and werewolf, impregnates another werewolf, his other siblings, Elijah and Rebekah, come to New Orleans to take care of the situation. However, tension rises between vampires, werewolves, and witches in the city as their presence causes quite a stir in the supernatural community. Together, the family must ease conflicts, all while keeping Klaus’ unborn child safe from those who see it as a threat.
"A Discovery of Witches"
Based on the historical fantasy “All Souls” trilogy by Deborah Harkness, 2018’s “A Discovery of Witches” follows Diana Bishop, a history professor at Yale University who shies away from her magical bloodline. When she accidentally summons a long-lost manuscript with important information on the supernatural, she and the manuscript become targets. Witches, demons, and vampires are all in decline, and the manuscript could hold the key to strengthening each respective species. Vampire Matthew Clairmont, a biochemist by profession, is an interested party, but his repeated attempts to get close to it reveal a growing connection with Diana as well.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
What is a list of vampire television shows without “Buffy the Vampire Slayer?” High school student Buffy Summers did not ask to fight vampires, demons, and everything else that goes bump in the night, but that’s what happens when her new town is located over a Hellmouth. While her Watcher, Rupert Giles, trains Buffy to hone her new abilities, her mortal best friends, Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg, fight by her side. Along the way, Angel, a vampire cursed with a human soul, as well as other humans and supernatural creatures, join Buffy in her fight to stop evil.
A spin-off of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the 1999 television show “Angel” follows the titular vampire burdened with his human soul as he tries to find his own redemption. While he struggles with his own inner demons, Angel opens a private detective agency in Los Angeles and takes on supernatural cases that other traditional detectives will not touch. Half-demon, Allen Francis Doyle, and former cheerleader and fellow “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum, Cordelia Chase, join the team early to help Angel out. However, more original and crossover characters pop in and out throughout the series, especially as the cases grow more difficult and have more serious consequences.
Based on “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” novels by Charlene Harris, 2008’s “True Blood” is set in a world where synthetic blood, called Tru Blood, has eliminated the need for vampires to remain hidden from the rest of the world. Since this “Great Revelation,” vampires have found themselves divided, with some believing co-existing with humans goes against their predatory nature, and others believing equality is both possible and desirable. The show follows Sookie Stackhouse, a telepath who falls in love with Bill Compton, a vampire. The series primarily takes place in Bon Temps, Louisiana, a small town that deals with its fair share of murders, disappearances, and supernatural threats that Sookie and Bill constantly get wrapped in.
No list of vampire television series would be complete without recognizing “The Munsters.” The 1964 show is a satire on the wholesome suburban American family sitcom genre, with a lovable cast of supernatural creatures that make up the Transylvanian-American Munster family. Hermann, the family’s patriarch, is a Frankenstein’s monster, and his wife Lily and grandfather-in-law are vampires. His son Eddie is a precocious, werewolf-like boy, and their live-in niece seems to be a normal human to viewers. However, she is considered the odd-one-out, and the ugly duckling of the Munster clan. Together, The Munsters experience tons of hijinks that get them into all sorts of situations.
Based on a DC Comic’s Vertigo series, 2016’s “Preacher” follows Jesse Custer, a small-town Texas preacher with a mysterious violent past. Jesse reunites with Tulip O’Hare, an ex-girlfriend with a fondness for shooting first and asking questions later, and meets Cassidy, an Irish vampire. With all the chaos and doubt in his life, Jesse asks God for a sign to keep on his path with his church. Instead, a half-demon, half-angel with a penchant for blowing up those it possesses, takes over Jesse, giving him immense power. Afterwards, Jesse sets out on a mission to unravel this mystery, and perhaps, find God along the way.
"Being Human" (UK)
2008’s hit British show “Being Human” follows three unlikely flatmates: a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire. Both George and Mitchell, the werewolf and vampire respectively, are attempting to reject their supernatural traits, living quiet lives with unassuming jobs in an area full of human beings. Mitchell has vowed not to feed from human beings, but abstaining is a constant struggle. George sees his werewolf as something other than himself, something to be controlled viciously. Meanwhile, Annie does not know why she hasn’t moved beyond this world. Although the show is about their struggles, there is a ton of laugh-out-loud moments that are sure to delight viewers.
"Being Human" (US/Canada)
After the success of the UK’s “Being Human,” a North American version was launched in 2011. While the starting premise is the same (a werewolf named Josh and a vampire named Aidan move into a house haunted by a ghost named Sally), the North American version of the show is less of a comedy-riddled hijinks, and more of a character drama. After the first season, the North American version strays even further from the source material, moving on to bigger, badder antagonists and relationship dramas. Due to these major differences, the North American version of “Being Human” can be considered its own show entirely, but still an intriguing watch nonetheless.
Based on Zenescope Entertainment’s series of graphic novels titled “Helsing,” 2016’s “Van Helsing” follows Vanessa Van Helsing, who wakes from a coma when a vampire attacks her. She quickly discovers a volcanic eruption has almost completely blocked out the sun, allowing vampires to thrive. In this new post-apocalyptic world, Vanessa’s blood has the unique ability to turn vampires back into human beings. The vampires see this as a threat to their dominion, so they pursue her relentlessly. Vanessa joins the human resistance, and, with the help of former marine Axel Miller, she becomes the leader of the world’s surviving humans.
A cult classic of the vampire television genre, “Dark Shadows” is a gothic soap opera that began airing in 1966. Despite only airing for five years, the show released a new episode about the Collins family every weekday, meaning the final episode count is 1,225. The saga begins with Victoria Winters, an orphaned young woman who is hired to look after David Collins. What follows is the typical melodramatic tangle of soap opera storylines, with vampires, ghosts, zombies, witches, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures thrown in the mix. Time travel and alternate realities also play a major role in the series, creating a complex web of drama.
Based on Gueillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s novel trilogy of the same name, 2014’s “The Strain” follows Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather, the head of a major project at the CDC. When a plane lands at JFK Airport and stops responding to ground control, Eph and Dr. Nora Martinez are summoned to the scene. They discover that nearly all of the passengers and crew are dead from a contagion, and a coffin-like cabinet is taken from the plane and immediately stolen. As the contagion spreads and signs of vampirism emerge, Eph and the citizens of New York must fight to contain the problem.
"From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series"
2014’s “From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series” is part of the great multi-media franchise of the same name. The series follows Richie Gecko – a character from the original film – who constantly has visions of a woman urging him to kill. After springing his brother Seth from prison, the duo go on a crime spree and flee toward Mexico. Meanwhile, Jacob Fuller – also from the original film – is on an RV trip in Mexico with his two children, but their peaceful vacation turns into a nightmare when the Gecko brothers hold them hostage. In order to escape authorities on their tail, the Gecko brothers head toward a strip club that so happens to be crawling with serpentine vampires that have a thirst for blood.