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'True Blood' will return for fifth season

HBO will add a 12-episode fifth season to  'True Blood,' its supernatural vampire series.

The adventure of Sookie and Bill will continue: HBO said Thursday morning that it has renewed "True Blood" for a fifth season.

HBO brass said that the new season of the supernatural vampire series would be a 12-episode run that will begin production this year and air next summer.

The announcement was not a surprise -- creator and executive producer Alan Ball told reporters at the Television Critics Assn. recently that he expected his deal as showrunner to be sealed soon.

Still, it will cast a different light on the current season, reassuring viewers worried about the prospect of Ball leaving after this season that there would be further adventures in Bon Temps.

Ball said at TCA that he "[doesn't] have any desire to leave because I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had in my life." He also said the new season will look at the origins of at least one of the vampires as well as  large mythology.

The longer-term future, of course, remains a question. Ball, who did say at TCA that "everything ends," worked on "Six Feet Under" for six seasons.

And Ball will be busy: He has also signed on to executive produce the show "Banshee" at HBO's sister network Cinemax.

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-- Steven Zeitchik
Twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: "True Blood." Credit: HBO

 
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