HBO renews 'True Blood'

Fourth season to debut next summer

HBO has renewed "True Blood" for a fourth season.

"The new season of 'True Blood' is off to a terrific start, as enthusiasm for this unique show continues to build among both subscribers and critics," said HBO programming prez Michael Lombardo. "We're looking forward to more chills from Alan Ball and his gifted team next year."

"I am beyond thrilled to be able to continue working with this amazing cast and crew," said creator Alan Ball. "This is the most fun I have ever had."

Though ratings for Sunday's episode are not yet available, last week's third season premiere drew 5.1 million viewers -- up 38% from season two's opener.

Season four will debut next summer. HBO has ordered 12 episodes, same as this year.
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