(Editors note: This article originally appeared HERE on HuffPost TV.)
"True Blood" is ending. HBO announced the vampire drama will sign off in 2014 with Season 7 being the show's last.
“'True Blood' has been nothing short of a defining show for HBO," Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO, said in a statement. "Alan Ball took the books by Charlaine Harris, assembled a brilliant cast led by the magnificent Anna Paquin in the role of Sookie Stackhouse, and crafted a show that has taken its many devoted fans on an Unforgettable journey. Alan passed the baton to Brian Buckner, who led our fantastic writers and crew in crafting a spectacular sixth season, and he will lead us through the seventh and final season of this amazing show. 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."
The series based on Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels has been a ratings hit for HBO. Over the years, the ensemble cast of "True Blood" anchored by Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard has grown to include Anna Camp, Joe Manganiello and more. Alan Ball created the series before handing over the reins to Brian Buckner.
“From the moment I read Charlaine’s books, I thought there was potential for something really special," Ball said in a statement. "Then our amazing writers, cast and crew brought her world to life in a way that exceeded my wildest expectations. I’m deeply grateful to HBO for being true partners and collaborators, and, of course, to the viewers who chose to spend Sunday nights in Bon Temps with us."
"I feel enormously proud to have been a part of the 'True Blood' family since the very beginning," Buckner said in a statement. "I guarantee that there’s not a more talented or harder-working cast and crew out there, and I’d like to extend a personal heartfelt thanks to them for their dedication and tenacity over the years, especially this past year, as I stepped into a larger role. Thank you also to HBO for their unwavering support and of course to Alan Ball, whose genius enabled all of us to share in this incredible journey. Finally, a huge thank you to the most passionate fans in television. As we take a final walk through Bon Temps together, we will do our very best to bring Sookie’s story to a close with heart, imagination and, of course, fun."
For the show's last season, expect a more back to the basics type of story. Buckner told The Hollywood Reporter that relationships between vampires and humans will take center stage once again.
"It was my absolute goal and objective was to narrow the number of separate stories we're telling," Buckner told THR. "That's why we're doing for every human, a vampire, for every vampire a human, because now we get to focus on the characters and the relationships. The original promise of the show was, if vampires exist, what do the relationships between humans and vampires look like? And that was Sookie and Bill. And now we have this whole town of characters we're invested in, and we get to look at how the pairings, and what those pairing will do to the relationships people are already in. All of it is about trying to get back to the more entangled romances and soapy-ness that the first season had."
"True Blood" returns to HBO in the summer of 2014.