HBO's True Blood series and the Twilight movie adaptation premiered just months apart in 2008. Although one was a TV show and the other was a film, they both introduced new takes on the vampire genre. So why did they make their debut around the same time?
True Blood and the Twilight franchise ran through the height of the vampire craze. Vampires never really disappeared from TV and film but the blood-suckers were everywhere in the mid to late 2000s. They were portrayed in various forms and interpretations for a wide variety of demographics. True Blood and Twilight are credited to the vampire resurgence which is why many viewers constantly compared the two franchises.
Even though True Blood was intended for a very different demographic compared to Twilight, they both shared some similarities. True Blood focused on a human, Sookie Stackhouse, who was rescued by a vampire that she later fell in love with. Bella Swan from Twilight coincidentally was saved by Edward Cullen, a local vampire that soon became her lover. They both involved human's acceptance in vampires and other supernatural beings. True Blood and Twilight were based on successful novels but like with most projects in the entertainment industry, the timing was everything.
Technically, True Blood came into the world first. The show was based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by author Charlaine Harris. The first book following Sookie Stackhouse was released in 2001 before the series ended in 2013. In total, Harris wrote 13 novels in the series and much of the plot served as the basis for True Blood. The HBO series premiered September 2008, two months before Twilight hit theaters.
The first Twilight book written by Stephenie Meyer was published in 2005. It was an instant hit with YA readers, spawning three sequels. The rights to the film adaptation were optioned before the book even hit store shelves but the development was stalled. The ball didn't get rolling until mid-2008 and film took place through May 2008. Even though Twilight debuted after True Blood, the book could be accredited to their similar premiere dates.
True Blood series creator Alan Ball had plans to develop a new series for HBO after Six Feet Under ended in 2005. He happened upon Harris' book series about vampires in a bookstore and was instantly drawn to the story. It's very likely that Harris' series was being pushed at the time due to recent popularity with vampires through Twilight. The young adult book romanticized vampires but Ball found something that portrayed characters in a similar fashion that would appeal to a much more mature audience on HBO. It just so happened that they went through development around the same time.
As True Blood and the Twilight franchise continued through the years, the vampire craze started to die down as they were now considered mainstream. The fad has disappeared after zombies took over thanks in part to The Walking Dead. Trends in the entertainment industry are cyclical so it wouldn't be surprising if vampires ended up making a comeback someday.