HBO Has No ‘True Blood’ Endgame…Yet

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 10:54 am,

The cast of True Blood HBO HBO Has No True Blood Endgame…Yet

Now at five seasons and counting, HBO’s vampire series, True Blood, shows no signs of slowing down, and the network sees no reason to start thinking about when the last nail will be driven into that particular coffin.

Recently, the network’s head honchos Richard Pleper and Michael Lombardo spoke at the Television Critics Association’s summer tour on a wide range of topics, including its plans to move Girls and Enlightened into the timeslot previously held by Luck and the various issues surrounding Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. On the topic of True Blood, however, only positive things came up, and it was implied that the series would be around for a few more seasons at least.

Lombardo stated:

“The show’s obviously doing well; as long as it continues to be performing with the consumer, and more importantly exciting the storytellers, I think we’re there.”

Given the uneven storytelling of the past few seasons, that statement could probably stand to be flipped. But, as far as straightforward answers go, Lombardo’s response leaves little for anyone to misinterpret. His remarks are surprisingly similar to the network’s response to the question of when Game of Thrones will end. HBO essentially said they’d keep doing the show as long as George R.R. Martin keeps writing the books. And it’s no wonder, as the adaptation of Martin’s novels have not only approached the numbers True Blood puts up in terms of ratings, but it also does something that the vampires of Bon Temps do not: it is generally heaped with critical praise.

Quality issues aside, the fact remains that True Blood is one of HBO’s highest rated series ever. In fact, it is the network’s most watched program since The Sopranos, averaging nearly 5 million viewers per episode in seasons 3 and 4. That’s an impressive feat for a series seemingly hell bent on outdoing its own campiness year in and year out. It may be even more impressive considering seasons 3 and 4 – regarded as something of a critical low point for the series – raked in more than double what the show was able to muster up in season 1.

Whatever your thoughts on the current state of True Blood, it certainly hasn’t let HBO down yet. Which is why it was surprising to hear the network unsure of whether or not season 6 would happen when it was announced that showrunner Alan Ball was bowing out to work on the Cinemax series Banshee. In fact, Ball’s replacement, television writer and producer Mark Hudis, was likely targeted to step in before a decision had even been made on whether or not season 6 would actually happen.

In a statement HBO made in February regarding Ball’s departure, the word “if” was liberally sprinkled about in regards to True Blood season 6.

The statement read:

“When we extended our multi-year overall deal with Alan Ball in July 2011, we always intended that if we proceeded to True Blood’s sixth season that Alan would take a supervisory role on the series and not be the day-to-day showrunner. If we proceed to season six, the show will remain in the very capable hands of the talented team of writers and producers who have been with the show for a number of years. This is the best possible world for both HBO and Alan Ball.”

What a difference a few months and some solid ratings make. After the season 5 premiere put up nearly the same ratings as the two previous seasons, HBO has gone from questioning the continuation of the series to being unsure of when it will end.

True Blood airs Sunday nights @9pm on HBO.


Source: TVLine, EW

TAGS: True blood
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  1. After season 1 might have been a good time to end it.

  2. Man, why does nearly every TV show need to be completely run into the ground before it’s cancelled. Aren’t Showtime doing the same with the whole Dexte Season 9 talks?

  3. So far my thoughts of season 5 of True Blood by star rating so far is 2 1/2 stars. I feel it’s been toned down alittle but also read it will pick up when season comes to it’s end. It’s kinda like how season 2 dragged during the first half of that season but picked up later on. Chris Meloni did not disappoint & im loving every bit of Pam & Tara’s connection. I like Tara even more than previous seasons & hoping she gives what her mother deserves. As much as i like Russle as a baddie but i hope they kill him off this season & hope it will be Eric.

    • I agree with this. I wonder if the show will feel any different when Alan Ball steps down.

  4. Uneven is being kind, given the unholy episode, two episodes ago. Easily the bottom of the tank in the True Blood Universe. This last week’s was a mighty step up, but for all intents and purposes, the culling of Meloni was more than a misstep, it was a completely missed opportunity at quality this season that is completely gone. I can only imagine the quality that would have been the second half WITH Meloni in the balance.

    • I know what you mean Mike. I love Russell Edgington, but this whole Authority arc has ended up being missed opportunity. I just feel there is really nothing at stake right now, though that could change. By the way, when is your episode 8 review coming up, and why did it take so long for you to put up the reviews to 6 & 7? Just curious.

      • 8 is up and we were proudly delayed recently because of the birthday of the show hosts new son. :) You can always check status via the website. Cheers Roman!

      • 8 is up and we were proudly delayed recently because of the birthday of the show hosts new son. You can always check status via the website. Cheers Roman!

        • No problem. I actually just got done listening, and great show as always.

  5. This season has been craptacular.

    Why build up this Authority when apparently all of those who presided over it are totally against it ? Christopher Meloni’s story arc was totally useless.

    I couldn’t stop laughing at the first couple episodes where Tara blurred around screaming in fast forward smashing stuff.

    Pam ? Wow bad acting there. Like is she purposely acting like that ?

    All the voodoo BS with Lafayette cmon. He should’ve died at the end of season 1.

    • Can’t argue with any of your points, except your wrong on Pam.

  6. I have not seen any of this season due to a lack of interest. They seem to have jumped the shark a few years back, and at this point it has become harder to root for half of the characters on the show just due to the fact most of them should be dead due to their own stupidity.

  7. I just started watching True Blood this season (only because I got HBO to watch Game of Thrones), and for the life of me, I can’t see the appeal it has with viewers. If it’s simply sex appeal, that would be…disappointing.

    Perhaps someone could explain it to me…

    • It no doubt is the sex appeal, I don’t watch it as I stated my fiance does… I’ve only seen bits and pieces here and there, and there is alot of nudity. But its what guys are into so they will watch it.. I watch Vampire Diaries much better anyways

  8. The program was literally a different animal in the first season, Chet. Both season 1 and 2 provide you with a completely different pace and sense of “peril” that I think is completely missing at this point. There’s a core of people inside the show that you know just “can’t die” so putting them in the line of peril inside of any storyline at this point is an exercise in futility. Without that knowing that “anyone could go at any time” that matters, it makes it a lot about “continuing the show” rather than being sucked into good story (two episodes ago was easily the series low point) which is one of the main reasons I jump into television stories.

  9. This show is over the top but what’s crazy to me is it’s been like that since day 1. Idk why you guys think it should change. It’s always been a you like it or you don’t type show and from ratings it’s liked.

  10. I think that the initial Pam approach this season was outstanding, but was overtaken by things that just have come to not really matter, including one of the best television villains to come along (Russell – yes, the guy that pulls out human spine on live television, that guy) that has so little to do this season, that he’s been relegated to having gooney hair attention, dashing clothes and drinks! Yay :) Tiny little flashes of brilliance from Pam post flashbacks, but WOOF – that Tara dynamic = DRY.

    • That’s a good point, but I’m actually enjoying their dynamic. She is my favorite, and at this point I’m just happy to see her on screen, because she usually doesn’t even get 2 minutes of screentime, she just gets “tiny flashes” in an episode.

    • I loved how in one of her flashbacks Lorena appears with Bill & the way Eric handled them was great. I was curious how Pam was before he was turned since season 1. And her being Tara’s maker till this day i would never thought would happen. I guess id be ticked at Sookie & my cousin if i were Tara. One thing im hoping for is Tara killing her sorry for a excuse mother Lettie Mae.

    • Isn’t that what the Sanguinistas are, though? Vamps who only see humans as a food source?

  11. Can’t believe that only 3 episodes left already. This season has in it’s own way been like season 2 to me. Only things look to get interesting starting with episode 9. Yesterday i was wondering who the dragon could be, thinkin up suspects and was surprised little bit i was right. What came next did surprise me. I thought Russell was bad but Salome seems to be his equal if not more. Anyone else catch the episode aswell scenes of upcoming last 3 episodes?

  12. My fiance watches it, but I don’t see the appeal with it either, I think many just watch it for the sex & nudity, Thats just disgusting, I know its a premium station & all but come on.. Shows don’t need any of that to be of any good!

    • Sure they do not need it, but it does make it better.