The vampire craze may be cooling down, but ratings are still strong enough for "True Blood" to keep it going another season. HBO announced on Monday that it was renewing the series about vampires, witches, werewolves and everything else for a seventh season.
Despite a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, including the departure of series creator Alan Ball at the end of Season 5 to focus on other projects, and the departure of his replacement showrunner, Mark Hurdis, midway through the sixth season to develop his own series for HBO, fans continue to watch the antics of Sookie, Vampire Bill and the rest of the supernatural residents of Bon Temps, Louisiana.
The ratings have averaged over 4 million viewers per episode for the first four episodes of the abbreviated 10-episode sixth season (designed to work around lead actress Anna Paquin's pregnancy).
Executive producer Brian Buckner, who took over from Hurdis as showrunner midway through Season 6, will remain as the series showrunner for the seventh season.
While seven seasons is a long life for a cable drama, there remains a wealth of material the series can draw from, with 13 books and assorted shorter works in the "Southern Vampire Mysteries" series by Charlaine Harris. The final book in the series, "Dead Ever After" was published in May.
HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said in a statement: "'True Blood' remains a signature show for HBO, and a true phenomenon with our viewers. Thanks to Brian Buckner and his talented team, the show continues to be a thrill ride like nothing else on TV."