"I am thrilled that 'True Blood' continues to enjoy a phenomenal reception from both subscribers and critics," Michael Lombardo, HBO president, said in statement. "Alan Ball and his gifted team have devised the greatest thrill ride on TV."
Alan Ball will be back as showrunner for the 12-episode Season 5. The Season 4 premiere was seen by 5.42 million viewers and subsequent episodes have brought in around 5 million viewers each week.
Alexander Skarsgård, Ryan Kwanten, Stephen Moyer, Nelsan Ellis, Kevin Alejandro, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Rutina Wesley, Deborah Ann Woll, Anna Paquin and Alan Ball (phew!) held court before a packed house, showing off some steamy scenes still to come this season in a searing sizzle reel (watch it and get more on that here), before tantalizing the audience with a few juicy spoilers in the hour-long panel.
Sam Trammell (whose wife is about to have twins) and Joe Manganiello (who is filming a movie in Atlanta) were sorely missed, but we'd still say that the hotness quotient of the panel was far above normal human levels.
Check out a few of the highlights from the panel after the jump.
Just like one of the characters on the show, 'True Blood' (9PM ET Sunday, HBO) goes through a transformation in the first couple of episodes of its fourth season. Creator and head writer Alan Ball appears to have remembered that his characters -- humans, shapeshifters, vampires, faeries and the like -- are living beings with actual emotions and not just objects for him to Bedazzle with ever-thicker encrustations of incidents, events and OMG moments.
It's a refreshing and surprising change of pace. But then in the third episode, the show starts to show signs of falling into ruts it has frequently and heedlessly dived into before.
Has 'True Blood' and 'Six Feet Under' creator Alan Ball finally lost his golden touch? We hear that execs over at HBO have decided there's no sign of life in his latest drama project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cable network decided to pass on the Ball-directed pilot, 'All Signs of Death,' which is based on the Charlie Huston novel 'The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death,' about a slacker who joins a crime scene clean-up crew. Huston also wrote the script for the pilot.
This leaves Ball free to focus on critical and commercial darling, 'True Blood,' which is part of an already pretty full drama roster on HBO alongside 'Boardwalk Empire' and 'Big Love.' Plus, the epic medieval fantasy 'Game of Thrones' is premiering in April, and several other projects are waiting for a series verdict.
'True Blood' is supposed to be our slightly loony summer escape; if the show has a theme, it's this: "Crazy stuff happens in the woods around Bon Temps!" But this season, the show has often been short on the things that made it so addictive in the past.
There have been a few bright spots: Denis O'Hare as Vampire King Russell has been a delight, some of the werewolf moments were memorable, scenes involving Eric are usually good and Lafayette and Jesus' courtship has had its share of sweet moments. But much of the show has been as messy as the remains of a recently staked vamp, and nothing in season 3 has even begun to approach the pathos and impact of season 2's Godric arc.
According to TVGuide.com, Bell will play Timmy and Hines and Alexander will be his fairy godparents, Wanda and Cosmo. Weber is set to play the villain, an oil tycoon who tries to steal Cosmo and Wanda away from Timmy. The film, 'A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up Timmy Turner!' finds an older Timmy still in the fifth grade, refusing to grow up.
"It's so much fun to see our animated characters come to life," Marjorie Cohn, president of programming at Nickelodeon, said in a statement. "And who better to bring grown up Timmy Turner to life than Drake Bell, who himself grew up on our air and still remains one of our most popular Nick stars ever."
According to the Live Feed, Huston's crime noir tale centers on a slacker who joins a Los Angeles crime scene clean-up crew. The plot involves a murder mystery, hidden secrets and, of course, a femme fatale, reports Deadline.
Ball, who also produced HBO's 'Six Feet Under,' will serve as executive producer and director of the pilot, titled 'All Signs of Death.' The project will reportedly give Ball the chance to experiment with small portable cameras to give the show a cinema verite style that will highlight the "dirty underbelly of LA," he told Deadline.
HBO confirmed the news amid a string of successes for the show. 'True Blood''s third season premiered two weeks ago to a record-breaking audience of 5.1 million, topping its season two premiere by almost 40 percent. The season two opener was HBO's biggest hit since 'The Sopranos' series finale in 2007. Then, on Jun. 21, the network announced that it had renewed 'True Blood' for a fourth season, which is expected to arrive in summer 2011.
The latest television series to get its own comic book adaptation is HBO's 'True Blood,' according to IGN. The comic will be published by IDW Publishing and will involve input from show creator Alan Ball. The article does not indicate that Charlaine Harris, the creator of 'The Southern Vampire Mysteries' series from which 'True Blood' was created, would be involved.
'True Blood' is not the first television franchise to get a comic book adaptation. Far from it. The 'Buffy' Season 8 comic written by creator Joss Whedon is still one of the biggest sellers on the shelves.
IDW Publishing practically specializes in adapting television franchises with 'G.I.Joe,' 'Transformers,' 'Star Trek,' 'Doctor Who,' and 'Angel.' Some of those are movie adaptations of television shows that got expanded into comics, but you get the idea.
With its fantasy premise and gothic atmosphere, 'True Blood' should work well as a comic book. It's a good way to tell different and possibly bigger stories without worrying about such things as budget limitations.
[via Pop Candy]
We reported a few days ago that two 'Prison Break' alumnus had joined the cast: Marshall Allman as Sam's younger brother Tommy and Shannon Lucio as Bill's wife (in flashbacks). Now comes word of two more casting notes:
Early to rise...early to bed...
(S02E12) "You may be the strongest, oldest vampire in my queendom, but if I wanted, I could own your fangs as earrings." - The Vampire Queen to Eric
We've come to the end of season two of True Blood, and I'm glad to see the Maryann storyline end (this is no spoiler; Alan Ball talked about it in my interview with him; and yes, Michelle Forbes is a fantastic actress). On the other hand, I'm sad to see True Blood ending and will wait impatiently for season three to start.
But this finale brought an end to a few storylines and set things up nicely for new ones in season three. After the jump, the episode review and your comments. Don't click through if you haven't watched the episode yet!
With the season two finale right around the corner -- "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" airs Sunday at 9 PM ET on HBO -- it's a great time to catch up with series creator Alan Ball (pictured, with Michelle Forbes, Rutina Wesley, and Deborah Ann Woll at the TCA awards in August). Read on for his thoughts on the future of Maryann, a Sookie/Bill pairing, and even a few spoilers on season three.
If you want to look at the full transcript of the wide-ranging interview, click here. The edited version starts after the jump. Oh, and read AOL TV's coverage of the show, as well.
(S02E11) "I am gonna kick that bitch's evil ass out of my gran's house, and then you are gonna shoot her." Sookie to Lafayette, about Maryann
Well, they didn't make us wait, and picked up with True Blood right where we left off last week, with Bill walking in on the vampire queen, played deliciously by Evan Rachel Wood. And ... is the vampire queen a lesbian? There were certainly some sexual overtones with her sucking blood out of the girl's leg, and then later saying, "I haven't enjoyed sex with men since the Eisenhower administration." Then again, she did ask Bill if he wanted to have sex, and he politely declined. He also declined her suggestion that he feed on the girl.
"What gives you the right to say no to the femoral blood of a good woman?" she asks. "You know what your problem is, William? You're a snob. Tiny, tiny souls. Or penises. Or both."
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