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Not Really News Dept.: A Fourth Season for True Blood

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Having gotten the formality of the third-season premiere out of the way, HBO officially picked up its biggest hit, True Blood, for a fourth season. It’s interesting to see where HBO has gone since the days—way back in 2008—of True Blood’s premiere. The writers’ strike had just ended, The Sopranos was gone, shows like Tell Me You Love Me and John from Cincinnati had flamed out, and HBO’s cupboard was looking extremely bare. Now it has several dramas continuing their seasons, a regular rotation of half-hour comedies and shows including Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Luck coming down the pike. HBO may need to build another cupboard.

Meanwhile, Hung and Entourage return next week—and The Wrap is reporting that HBO is already planning more Entourage, either an eighth season or an extension of the seventh.

Excerpts from the release after the jump:

HBO has renewed the hit show TRUE BLOOD for a 12-episode fourth season, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. Created by Alan Ball, the series will begin production of new episodes early next year in Los Angeles, with debut set for summer 2011.

[Mutually back-patting quotes redacted.]

Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, TRUE BLOOD takes place in the not-too-distant future, when vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source. The show follows the romance between waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people’s thoughts, and her boyfriend, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), who went missing at the end of season two, and is now the object of a frantic search. Alan Ball (creator of the Emmy®-winning HBO series “Six Feet Under”) created and executive produces the show, which is based on the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.