HBO has set end date for True Blood, announcing today that the series’ upcoming seventh season next summer will be its last. The veteran vampire drama, created by Alan Ball based on Charlaine Harris’ books, was recently renewed for a 10-episode seventh season. “True Blood has been nothing short of a defining show for HBO,” said HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo. “Together with its legions of fans, it will be hard to say goodbye to the residents of Bon Temps, but I look forward to what promises to be a fantastic final chapter of this incredible show.” True Blood, starring Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, had been HBO’s flagship drama until this year when it was eclipsed by the red-hot Game Of Thrones. It still is a potent draw, logging 4.5 million viewers for its sixth-season premiere this summer and averaging gross audience of 10.6 million viewers per episode. True Blood also successfully navigated the transition from Ball to new showrunner Brian Buckner who took over the show early into Season 6. All key cast members, including stars Paquin, Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard, are on board for the series’ final chapter.
EXCLUSIVE: It’s been a fast rise for Amelia Rose Blaire on True Blood. She joined the HBO vampire drama as recurring for the recent sixth season, playing Governor’s daughter and vampire-rights-activist-turned-vampire Willa Burrell. Blaire ended up appearing in virtually every episode and is now being promoted to series regular. Production on True Blood‘s seventh season is expected to begin in December. Blaire is repped by Bauman, Redanty & Shaul and Jeremy Small.
Oprah Winfrey‘s post-rehab interview with troubled star Lindsay Lohan drew far smaller audience than Winfrey’s other similar first exclusive sit-downs. The Lohan interview on Oprah’s Next Chapter on Sunday averaged 892,000 total viewers at 9 PM, only slightly above the show’s Sunday average (+7%). For comparison, Winfrey’s interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina drew 3.5 million viewers and her chat with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong pulled in 3.2 million. For the night, including the 10 PM rebroadcast, the Lohan sit-down averaged 1.8 million viewers.
True Blood showrunner Brian Buckner wouldn’t tell a soul at the show’s Comic-Con Saturday panel how Season 6 will end next month, but HBO did release a teaser for the second half of the season. There are glimpses of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) eulogizing at a funeral, religious right leader Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) leading an epic crusade against the fanged monsters, as well as a gang of vampires set to be burnt by the sun, including Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll), in a cylinder room. Check it out:
HBO said today that it will bring back one of its flagship series True Blood for a seventh season. New episodes will premiere in summer 2014, with executive producer Brian Buckner returning as showrunner after he replaced creator Alan Ball at the helm of the show for the current sixth season. The Season 6 premiere of the vampire drama debuted June 26, drawing 4.5 million viewers, down from the 5.2 million who tuned in for the Season 5 premiere as it faced an NBA Finals game. It is averaging better than 10 million an episode across all plays. “True Blood remains a signature show for HBO, and a true phenomenon with our viewers,” said HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo in making the announcement today. “Thanks to Brian Buckner and his talented team, the show continues to be a thrill ride like nothing else on TV.” True Blood, based on the novels by Charlaine Harris, is exec produced by Ball, Buckner, Gregg Fienberg and Alexander Woo and co-executive produced by Angela Robinson. Robin Veith is supervising producer and Kate Barnow and Christina Jokanovich are co-producers.
David Fynn has landed a regular role on NBC’s midseason comedy Undateable, from executive producer Bill Lawrence and Warner Bros TV. The bromantic comedy centers on Danny (Chris D’Elia) and Justin (Brent Morin) — two very different guys who are bonded by their common inability to attract women. Flynn, repped by Luber Roklin, Gersh and Shepherd Management in the UK, will play Brett, Justin’s gay and prohibitively picky undateable friend who always finds something wrong with a guy. He replaces Matthew Wilkas, who plated the role in the pilot. This is one of two re-castings on Undateable after it was picked up to series. The series also is looking for an actress to replace Briga Heelan, who co-starred in the pilot as a guest star as she had already been cast as the female lead in the TBS pilot Ground Floor, which went to series. Read More »
True Blood is keeping its title of HBO‘s flagship series… at least for now. Last night’s premiere of Season 6, the vampire drama’s first without Alan Ball at the helm, delivered 4.5 million viewers for the episode directed by star Stephen Moyer. That was down from the 5.2 million who tuned in for last year’s Season 5 debut, which did not face the NBA Finals as was the case last night. It was also up a notch from the 4.4 million viewers who watched the Season 3 opener of Game Of Thrones. The medieval fantasy series kept growing throughout the season, hitting a series of highs. It remains to be seen whether True Blood will follow a similar upward ratings trajectory. Regardless, this is a solid turnout for a series in its sixth season.
The upcoming sixth season of HBO‘s vampire drama True Blood will premiere on June 16. This marks the first season without True Blood creator Alan Ball at the helm. The transition recently hit a bump, with Mark Hudis, who had been tapped to succeed Ball as showrunner, replaced by True Blood co-executive producer Brian Buckner earlier this month. But production continued through the changeover, which doesn’t seem to have affected the series’ premiere date as it is in line with previous seasons. At 10 episodes, Season 6 is a tad shorter than the usual 12-episode cycles of the show due to star Anna Paquin’s pregnancy. Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgård co-star.
The Killing alumEric Ladin is set to play young J. Edgar Hoover on HBO‘s Boardwalk Empire. Ladin, repped by Innovative and Main Title, has joined the cast of the period mob drama as a recurring. This is Ladin’s second recurring gig on an HBO series; he also had a role on Big Love as Chloë Sevigny’s doctor.
In another recurring HBO casting, Brothers & Sisters alum Luke Grimes will film five episodes of the upcoming sixth season ofTrue Blood. I hear he would be upped to a regular if the vampire drama is renewed for a seventh season. Grimes, repped by CAA, manager Darren Goldberg, and attorney Dave Feldman, will play Wes, a 27-year-old, sexy, spiritual, compassionate, intelligent, protective, deeply emotional, and guitar-playing vampire who was turned in the ‘70s. He next stars with Amber Heard in Weinstein Co’s recent acquisition All The Boys Love Mandy Lane.
Mark Hudis’ tenure as True Blood showrunner was a short one. Hudis, who succeededTrue Blood creator Alan Ball at the helm of the HBO vampire drama at the beginning of Season 6, is stepping down, with co-executive producer Brian Buckner taking over as new showrunner. Hudis was a somewhat surprising choice when he was named Ball’s successor as he only joined True Blood in Season 4. Meanwhile, Buckner, who had been considered a leading candidate for the job, had been with the show since after the pilot. Rumors about a potential showrunner change on True Blood started circulating early this year, though such a move is very rarely made while a series is in production as it indicates urgency; showrunner changeovers usually happen between seasons. True Blood is still early in production of Season 6, with episode 4 currently filming, so the “righting of the ship” is being done with most of the episodes yet to be filmed. There will be no stop in production during the transition. Hudis’ appointment as True Blood showrunner was part of an overall deal he signed with HBO last spring. He will now “focus on development under his overall deal,” the network said.
HBO‘s vampire drama True Blood is adding two females to the cast for its upcoming sixth season with Amelia Rose Blaire (90210) and Friday Night Lights alumna Jurnee Smollett. Blaire will play Willa Burrell, the daughter of Louisiana Gov. Truman Burrell (Arliss Howard), who has long clashed with her father over vampire rights. Smollett will play wide-eyed Nicole Wright, who is not concerned with money and more concerned with the common good and doing what’s right. I hear Blaire’s role is recurring that could become regular, and Smollett will be a regular. Blaire, repped by Bauman, Redanty & Shaul, and Anthem Entertainment, will be seen in the upcoming indies Commencement and Jesus Iin Cowboy Boots. Smollett, repped by ICM Partners and Storefront Entertainment, recently did an arc on Fox’s Mob Doctor.
EXCLUSIVE: Three weeks after ABC opted not to give a back order to submarine drama Last Resort, the series co-star Robert Patrick has signed on a series regular on HBO’s vampire drama True Blood, playing Alcide’s (Joe Manganiello) father. Patrick first introduced the character on the hit HBO drama in the most recent fifth season where he did a three-episode arc, appearing in the three of the last four episodes of the season. He was tapped for the recurring gig in June, after his pilot Last Resort had been picked up to series by ABC. While the broadcast network stopped short of a formal cancellation of Last Resort, and the cast of the show are still under deals at Sony Pictures TV, I hear Patrick is being released so he can join True Blood.
On the big screen, Terminator alum Patrick, repped by Gersh and Coronel Group, will next be seen in Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad, Universal’s Identity Thief, and indie Lovelace, which is premiering at next month’s Sundance Film Festival.
British actor Rob Kazinsky has joined the cast of HBO‘s vampire drama True Blood as new regular for the upcoming sixth season. He will play Ben, a highly charismatic faerie who takes a liking to Sookie (and vice-versa) and helps Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Jason (Ryan Kwanten) delve deeper into the mystery of their parents’ murders. Kazinsky, repped by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment, spent two years on the popular British soap EastEnders. He will next be seen in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim.
EXCLUSIVE:Rutina Wesley is in negotiations to star in the coming-home drama Last Weekend alongside Patricia Clarkson as well as in the thriller Angry Little Gods, which Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcism) is directing. Wesley would make the movies during her break from filming HBO’s True Blood, on which she plays a newbie vampire. Last Weekend is being directed by Tom Dolby and Tom Williams and revolves around the lives that continue to change in the last weekend at a family home. Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad) is producing. In Angry Little Gods, Wesley would play the fiancee to Mark Webber, who unbeknownst to her is playing a twisted game — a make-or-break competition that could make him his fortune or cost him his life. Kiki Miyake and Brian Kavanaugh Jones are producing; Jason Blum and ICM Global’s Stuart Ford are executive producers. Rutina is represented by Inspire Entertainment and SMGSB.
HBO’s True Blood and The Newsroom had a solid finish to their fifth and first seasons, respectively. True Blood drew 5 million viewers for its season finale at 9 PM, up a fraction from last week’s 4.93 million and down a hair from the fourth season closer last year, which posted 5.05 million. For the combined two Sunday plays, the episode, True Blood‘s last with creator Alan Ball as showrunner, logged a season high 6.3 million total viewers.
Following at 10 PM, the season finale of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom drew 2.3 million viewers, up 17% from last week for a series high. Also a series high was the series’ cumed audience for the 10 PM and 12 AM airing, 2.8 million. Both True Blood, which averages a gross audience of 11.3 million viewers per episode, and Newsroom (6.7 million) have been renewed for another season.
Alexander Skarsgard said today that he hasn’t been offered a role in the film adaption of E.L. James’ best selling Fifty Shades of Grey. “I haven’t read the book and I haven’t seen a script,” said the True Blood actor on the HBO show’s Comic-Con panel this afternoon. Skarsgard might not be playing Christian Grey right now but today’s panel did let out some other information. We’re going to learn more about Sookie Stackhouse’s parents in the just started fifth season of True Blood, show creator Alan Ball reveled today. Overall, Ball, who is stepping back as showrunner for the series next season, and everyone else on the HBO show’s panel at Comic-Con this afternoon kept their lips pretty tightly closed. It was all tidbits. Another small detail from Ball was that there were going to be three new romantic relationships on the series during season five. Actor Joe Manganiello let out that his werewolf Alcide Herveaux character “will sexually eviscerate someone this season.” Deborah Ann Woll let slip that this season’s episode 10 is a big one for her character. Fellow cast member Stephen Moyer, who had just flown in from Georgia where he is shooting the Atom Eyogen-directed Devil’s Knot, wouldn’t say anything about the upcoming episode of True Blood that he directed except to praise Sam Trammell’s … Read More »
Ryan Kwanten will take a temporary detour from the sex and fangs of HBO’s True Bloodto star in the indie feature Sex And Sunsets. Jeremiah Chechick will direct from the screenplay adaptation by Megan Martin based on the novel by Tim Sandlin. Principal photography will begin on August 20th on locations in Banff and Los Angeles. Robert Lantos is producing the Serendipity Point Films production with Ari Lantos, and Mark Musselman is exec producer. Read More »
Does the HBO prop department do all its shopping on Pennsylvania Avenue? Just a few weeks after controversy erupted over the head of President George W Bush appearing atop a pike on the network’s Games Of Thrones,Barack Obama showed up on True Blood last night. Actually it was several Obamas: On the episode, a truck full of gun-toting thugs in Obama masks pulled up firing at characters Sam Merlotte, Luna Garza and her daughter Emma. “True Blood’s production team purchased several Obama masks from us earlier this year, and we’ve been waiting in suspense for them to appear,” mask provider Costume Craze wrote today on its blog about the “pretty scary scene”.
Though the gang’s appearance was more like 1991′s Point Break – where bank robbers wore presidential masks in pulling their heists — than Games’ depiction of Bush, it was still an odd occurrence considering the timing of the Thrones controversy. “It’s a complete and utter coincidence and one show has nothing to do with the other,” an HBO spokesperson said today. Read More »