True Blood, HBO’s signature series that set the stage for groundbreaking HBO programming, will be ending in summer 2014. The seventh season of the show is in production now. Ten episodes will air this summer and finally bring the story of Sookie Stackhouse and the residents of Bon Temps to a close. Fans are divided on the ending of the popular series. Some fans agree that it’s time for the show to end while others would prefer the show go on for a couple more seasons. Even though fans can’t agree on whether or not the ending of the series is a good thing the producers and writers feel good about the decision. They feel that they are bringing the stories of these unique characters to an end in a natural progression that makes sense for the overall story.
HBO executives have not said that they are unhappy with the ratings of the show but there’s no doubt that ratings have dropped over the last few seasons. The Season 6 finale which aired recently drew only 4.1 million viewers, which is a low for the series. Compared to the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead which drew more than 12.1 million viewers it’s easy to see why some fans feel that the show may have run its course.
Some critics have speculated that the departure of the series developer Alan Ball in the sixth season was a factor in the cancellation of the show. Alan Ball, who is no stranger to ground breaking television, felt like he had taken the show as far as he could when he handed it over to a new showrunner for the sixth season. Previously Alan Ball had created and worked on the provocative HBO show Six Feet Under. Elements of True Blood were similar to the dark and unnerving style of Six Feet Under. Fans embraced True Blood the way that they had embraced Six Feet Under and the show still has a solidly loyal fan base.
At the time True Blood first went on the air it was considered to be ground breaking television although compared to hits like The Walking Dead it now carries a little less weight. True Blood helped establish original HBO shows as a force to be reckoned with and also led other networks to create their own unique shows.
True Blood was inspired by a series of books called the Southern Vampire Mysteries written by Charlaine Harris. Alan Ball picked up one the first book in the series while waiting for an appointment one day and was so fascinated by the stories that he optioned the books to be made into a TV series. He was not the only one who was bidding for the rights to the stories but ultimately Charlaine Harris accepted Ball’s offer over the other offers on the table. In interviews she said that she felt Alan Ball’s vision of the stories was the closest to her own. After seeing his work on Six Feet Under she felt like he was the one who would bring the most authenticity to her stories.
Fans obviously agree and made True Blood a strong hit right out of the gate. While fans are still loyal to the characters that they love many do agree that it’s time for the show to wrap up the storylines of these characters and end. Pop culture analysts wonder if that means that taste of the public for vampires is changing. Judging by the huge ratings that shows like The Walking Dead are drawing it’s a valid question. Perhaps zombies have replaced vampires as the monster most likely to be embraced by the population these days. Zombies have never been more popular than they are now, while vampire films and movies seem to be fading.
Strong characters, great writing, and good acting will always make great television. For the past six seasons True Blood has delivered the kind of exciting stories that people want to see. Hopefully the seventh season will do the rest of the series justice and close out the storylines of the main characters in ways that will make fans happy.