HBO's popular vampire drama True Blood will end after its seventh season, due to air in summer 2014. Like the recent season 6, True Blood's final season will be a truncated 10 episodes.
HBO's President of Programming, Michael Lombardo, made the announcement, adding that: "True Blood has been nothing short of a defining show for HBO. Alan Ball took the books by Charlaine Harris, assembled a brilliant cast led by the magnificent Anna Paquin in the role of Sookie Stackhouse, and crafted a show that has taken its many devoted fans on an unforgettable journey. Alan passed the baton to Brian Buckner, who led our fantastic writers and crew in crafting a spectacular sixth season, and he will lead us through the seventh and final season of this amazing show. Together with its legions of fans, it will be hard to say goodbye to the residents of Bon Temps, but I look forward to what promises to be a fantastic final chapter of this incredible show."
Alan Ball himself commented: "... from the moment I read Charlaine's books, I thought there was potential for something really special. Then our amazing writers, cast and crew brought her world to life in a way that exceeded my wildest expectations. I'm deeply grateful to HBO for being true partners and collaborators, and, of course, to the viewers who chose to spend Sunday nights in Bon Temps with us."
Current showrunner Brian Buckner, added: "I feel enormously proud to have been a part of the True Blood family since the very beginning. I guarantee that there's not a more talented or harder-working cast and crew out there, and I'd like to extend a personal heartfelt thanks to them for their dedication and tenacity over the years, especially this past year, as I stepped into a larger role. Thank you also to HBO for their unwavering support and of course to Alan Ball, whose genius enabled all of us to share in this incredible journey. Finally, a huge thank you to the most passionate fans in television. As we take a final walk through Bon Temps together, we will do our very best to bring Sookie's story to a close with heart, imagination and, of course, fun."
Those are nice words from the key talent behind-the-scenes, but it's a shame True Blood never really capitalised on its first two seasons--back when it was erotic, unpredictable, and unforgettable. Too many characters cluttered up the show, resulting in too many extraneous sub-plots to keep them busy, and a shaky belief seemed to develop that nudity/gore would be enough to pull people through the narrative quicksand. Several characters just became tedious or dislikeable. True Blood became a zany soap from season 4 onwards (around the time its popularity peaked with 5.53m viewers), and I only really stuck around because it became a great 'hate-watching' experience.
Will I miss it? Yes, actually. Well, sort of. It's complicated. But the show hasn't been doing anything interesting for awhile now, so bringing it to an end actually feels long overdue. I just hope the writers seize the opportunity to do dangerous things next season, knowing it's the final year and it doesn't actually matter if Bon Temps burns to the ground. I want major character deaths and unexpected events to really rock the boat. Go out with style, True Blood!