By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
HBO's immortal vampires now have an ending date.
True Blood's 10-episode, seventh season in summer 2014 will be its last, the pay-cable network announced today.
The popular drama, which stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard, ended its sixth season last month.
"True Bloodhas been nothing short of a defining show for HBO," HBO program chiefMichael Lombardo said in a statement accompanying the announcement.Executive producer "Alan Ball took the books by Charlaine Harris,assembled a brilliant cast led by the magnificent Anna Paquin in therole of Sookie Stackhouse and crafted a show that has taken its manydevoted fans on an unforgettable journey."
"From the moment I readCharlaine's books, I thought there was the potential for somethingreally special," Ball said in a statement. "Then our amazing writers,cast and crew brought her world to life in a way that exceeded mywildest expectations."
Brian Buckner took over day-to-dayoversight of the show from Ball in the sixth season and will retain thatrole for the final season.
True Blood follows Paquin'sSookie, a part-faerie who can hear people's thoughts, and her dealingswith vampires Bill Compton (Moyer) and Eric Northman (Skarsgard), alongwith a wide range of human and supernatural characters in Bon Temps, La.
InSeason 6, the show averaged 10.6 million viewers in gross audienceacross multiple showings and platforms. It has been one of HBO's mostpopular series.