True Blood was one of the most popular shows in HBO's history. The series, based on the books by author Charlaine Harris, ran for 80 episodes. So why did the dark fantasy end after True Blood season 7?
The show followed a waitress, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), with telepathic abilities who got herself swept up into the world of the supernatural after falling in love with a vampire. True Blood wasn't a viewership success at first but thanks to the vampire craze spearheaded by Twilight, its audience numbers quickly grew. By the middle of its run, the series had become one of HBO's most-watched programs since The Sopranos. What's more, the ratings actually ran steady until the end, which only further confused the reason for its cancellation.
The series ended because the creators of True Blood felt they ran out of worthwhile stories to share. Prior to the series finale, HBO's programming director Michael Lombardo shared the reasoning behind the decision process in an interview with THR:
"Every season we sit down with the creator and say ‘Tell us what the next year will be like.’ And if there aren't exciting, unbelievable, undeniable ideas in the coming season, we’re questioning. And I think in the case of True Blood, it just felt like we had reached a place where the storytelling was hitting a wall. And to stay just because the ratings were strong felt not who we are and we needed, quite honestly, the money and Sunday night space for new shows."
Up to that point, True Blood was one of HBO's flagship series. In ending it, they were able to shift their focus to other shows like Game of Thrones which later took over its Sunday night timeslot. It was hard to say goodbye for long-time viewers but most would agree that the series had run its course.
Despite having thirteen novels of stories to work with, True Blood veered too far off course to get back to the show's heart and soul. The trouble came after original series creator Alan Ball left and was replaced by a new showrunner Brian Buckner. It was around the same time that gentle and protective vampire, Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), transformed into an antagonist. Seeing a fan-favorite character change so much that late in the series was difficult for viewers.
True Blood's major storylines also became too peculiar. The racy series never shied away from introducing new mythologies and supernatural elements but what started out as humans learning how to accept vampires into the world turned into a revolt in how to eradicate the species. By the end of the series, Bill caught the deadly Hep-V virus and he begged Sookie to seal his fate by staking him in the chest. The death by the hands of poor Sookie was the last straw for the convoluted final season. Most viewers would agree that the network made the right choice by cancelling True Blood before it tarnished the legacy set by the early seasons.