HBO has renewed its hit vampire-tinged show True Blood for a fourth season, the network announced Monday.
The 12-episode fourth season of the Alan Ball-produced drama will begin production early next year in Los Angeles, with debut set for summer 2011, said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming.
The June 13 third season premiere of True Blood's third season drew 5.1 million viewers, up 38% from last June's season two debut, which averaged 3.7 million viewers and up 19% compared to the series' season two average of 4.3 million, according to HBO officials.
"The new season of True Blood is off to a terrific start, as enthusiasm for this unique show continues to build among both subscribers and critics," said Lombardo. "We're looking forward to more chills from Alan Ball and his gifted team next year."
Added Ball in a statement: "I am beyond thrilled to be able to continue working with this amazing cast and crew. This is the most fun I have ever had."