True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and Twilight

True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and Twilight film series are helping to bring vampire lore into the "mainstream" of global culture.

Aussie actors have made a great contribution to these shows.

Audiences across the globe know Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse, the highly-sexed town heartthrob on "True Blood" (2008). Though he plays the quintessential Southern bad boy, Ryan is native of Australia and was born and bred in Sydney.

After a five-year stint on the popular down-under series, Home and Away ended, Ryan left Australia and moved to Los Angeles. He perfected an American accent and made a number of guest appearances on American television. He co-starred with Lori Loughlin and Jesse McCartney in "Summerland" (2004) then starred in the films Flicka (2006) and Dead Silence (2007). A year later, Ryan had the remarkable fortune to land a leading role on "True Blood" (2008), a Southern Gothic series produced by Alan Ball. "True Blood" (2008) tapped into the global obsession with vampires and, by the end of the first season, had become a cult hit.

Xavier Samuel has a face that you might not immediately recognise – unless you’re a teenage girl or an aficionado of the Twilight movies – and it could be argued that this is what has set him on a sure path to superstardom. This year Samuel has three feature films due for release. And at just 27 years old, his CV is pretty impressive, with roles in movies such as September, Newcastle, The Loved Ones and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

There’s no doubt the Adelaide-raised actor has the right looks to be a Hollywood leading man but, unlike some other rising Aussie stars, he hasn’t had the pressure of being labelled the next Mel Gibson or the next Russell Crowe. Samuel has just been getting on with the job and, as his hectic work schedule attests, Hollywood’s power players have sat up and noticed.

The Vampire Diaries
is an American television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The series premiered on The CW Television Network on September 10, 2009, and has currently finished its second season on May 12, 2011. The series follows the events in the town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a fictional small town haunted by supernatural beings. The main focus of the series is the love triangle between the female protagonist Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and Stefan and Damon with dark pasts. Later the light is thrown on the mysterious past of the town involving Elena's malevolent doppelgänger Katherine who seeks revenge against the town, Stefan, Damon, and Elena.

The pilot episode attracted the largest audience of any series premiere since the network began in 2006. The first season averaged 3.60 million viewers. The show initially received average reviews, but critics agreed that the series improved over the course of the season; the second season premiered to generally favorable reviews. The show has received numerous award nominations, winning a People's Choice Award and seven Teen Choice Awards. On April 26, 2011, The CW renewed the series for a third season, set to begin on September 15, 2011.

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