HBO Renews 'True Blood'


HBO will take another bite out of its True Blood franchise, renewing the vampire-tinged drama series for a fifth season, the pay service announced Thursday.

HBO will produce 12 episodes for the fifth season of the series, created by Alan Ball, to launch in summer 2012, according to network officials. True Blood, which stars Anna Paquin and is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, is averaging a cumulative 12.6 million viewers during its current fourth season run, said HBO.

"I am thrilled that True Blood continues to enjoy a phenomenal reception from both subscribers and critics," said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming in a statement. "Alan Ball and his gifted team have devised the greatest thrill ride on TV."