The True Blood tap has officially run out. HBO announced today that the upcoming 7th season of the popular (and once critically adored) vampire show will be its last, offering writers and producers a chance to provide fans with the closure that they doubtlessly deserve, after sticking with the show through six eventful seasons of vampires, fairies, witches, werewolves, shapeshifters, and sexiness.
Returning in the summer of 2014, True Blood's final season will only consist of 10 episodes instead of the more customary 12, thus echoing this past season.
Here's HBO President Michael Lombardo on the show's legacy under both revered and departed series creator Alan Ball and his replacement, present showrunner Brian Buckner.
“TRUE BLOOD has been nothing short of a defining show for HBO,” noted Lombardo. “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.”
Both Ball and Buckner also weighed in, offering the usual mix of praise and gratitude, but Buckner made fans a promise, saying:
"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.”
Fans of the show will remember that season 6 ended with a six-month time jump, leaving Eric seemingly dead on a sun-soaked mountain, and Sookie and Alcede together at last. A little more than a week ago, Buckner spoke about some of those points, revealed that HBO would soon let him know about the show's fate, and also indicated that fans would get "more of everybody that [they] love" as the story got a bit simpler.
One wonders how those plans may shift now that the end moves from a possibility to a looming certainty - but it does indicate that Buckner was very interested in bringing the show back to a point that would appeal to fans who may have decamped or lost some of their passion over the years.
Can Buckner successfully pivot back to the good old days while also completing the show's creative journey in a fulfilling manner that reinforces its legacy? He's got only 10 episodes to try, but with the way that a show's final episodes often shape public perception towards a show's total run, this is also an excellent opportunity for Buckner to fully step out of Alan Ball's shadow to leave his everlasting mark on True Blood's legacy.
True Blood returns for its seventh and final season in the summer of 2014.