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Just How Long Does True Blood Have?

by Jef Dinsmore
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True-Blood-Season-6-Canceled-202x300Here is a bit of elaboration based on a hot topic as of late. There have been postings from HBOWATCH and THE HBO BLOG about TRUE BLOOD and how many more seasons it has left. HBOWATCH felt there was longevity left in the product. Then, a few days later, Alan Ball, the project’s show-runner, announces plans to move on from the show. This, and other reasons, which includes the notion that on average HBO shows don’t last long, prompts THE HBO BLOG to wonder if a few nails have been hammered in the show’s coffin.

So, I did a little research to see how many seasons an HBO show usually runs for before someone gets tired or ratings soften.

BIG LOVE ——                   5 seasons

BORED TO DEATH —— 3 seasons

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM —— 8 seasons & counting

DEADWOOD ——             3 seasons

ENTOURAGE ——            8 seasons

HUNG ——                          3 seasons

OZ ——                                 6 seasons

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER —— 10 seasons & counting

SEX AND THE CITY —— 6 seasons

SIX FEET UNDER——     5 seasons

SOPRANOS ——                6 seasons

THE WIRE —–                  5 seasons

Other series no longer airing have all had 1 or 2 seasons. Now, if you go by those statistics and only look at the dramatic one hour series, as opposed to the half-hour comedies, listed the majority have lasted 5 or 6 seasons. TRUE BLOOD airs its 5th season starting in June. Alan Ball is ready to move on to other obligations before a 6th season would start. With a different show-runner in place TRUE BLOOD could be different in some ways after this coming season.

So I throw out these questions in conclusion. Would it be better for the show and fans to end Sookie Stackhouse’s story after the 5th season or risk a new show-runner maintaining the same show beyond that? Can or should it break the odds and run longer than that? Come on, bare your fangs and debate!

True Blood season 6 starts in spring of 2013. Be there.

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Donna September 9, 2013 - 3:05 pm

I love true blood . I say give the new show-runner a chance

T T August 16, 2013 - 2:27 pm

It’s a good show and i really enjoy it, but it’s starting to be too much. too many story lines and plots starting to spread thin. I don’t have hbo so i have to wait for the the dvd’s to come out. I just finished season five and while I enjoyed it i think it is time to start wrapping it up before it just totally goes downhill.

Me August 5, 2013 - 12:23 pm

Don’t let TRUE BLOOD Go! It would be SOOOO wrong!

Shug N HP June 8, 2013 - 8:19 pm

WE WANT MORREEEE!!!!! <3333333

pookie1899 June 7, 2013 - 2:43 pm

i would hate to see trueblood end but if somebody else runs it they might change it dramaticly we either have to-sadly- let it end or ruin it i say end it :(

Katie June 3, 2013 - 4:11 pm

I dont want true blood to ever end its the best programme of all time

fangbanger August 18, 2013 - 3:28 pm

I agree, keep more coming

Valpograd June 3, 2013 - 12:42 pm

After recently watching season 5 again, to prepare for season 6, I’ve really come to believe that the worst story line is that of Terry and his military buddies. Seriously, what was the point of all of that?

as long as it can May 5, 2013 - 9:23 am

if it gets viewers keep it going. heck don’t fallow the end books and pass even where the books lead off if you want. but as long as it still has a strong viewing why not keep it going. then again i don’t mean to keep it going even if just 2 people are watching. but its a huge cultural stable today. i mean stores dedicate their entire store at times for true blood themes when the shows coming back and even when a new DVD is released. like i ask if it gets good reviews keep it going.

simmone edgell March 3, 2013 - 7:03 pm

it is a great show sookie has to choose before it ends i think she should choose bill he has allways be there for her he loves hes i hope it goes for a long time there is a lot of crap on tv but this show is good

Tammy in Tupper February 4, 2013 - 7:54 am

this show is so amazing,i would never let it end untill there was no longer an audience for it. our whole family wait eagerly all winter long just to get our fix of true blood. its exciting ,sexy,well written and very entertaining, i love all of its twists and turns and want bill and sookie to be togeather forever as it was meant to be. i only keep HBO for this show. the best show on tv!

jill4tnvols January 6, 2013 - 1:35 pm

I never want it to end…:-) I just started watching almost done with season 3. The excitement knowing I have something good to watch… I’m addicted… I just wish Jason would get wild again like season 1 $ 2!!!

James Eldridge January 14, 2013 - 2:14 am

You should read the books. They are much better than the show. No knock on the show because it is good too.

Brian-Ray May 13, 2013 - 9:22 pm

What?!?! You read the books and you think they are better than the show? Have you watched the show? Alan Ball managed to take some of the worst writing (I can cute passages, if you’d like) and turn it into a dark satire. I have never met anyone that actually think Charlaine Harris is a good writer.

P.S. if you haven’t read the books, there is a Wal-Mart reference AND a word-of-the-day calander reference in every book. I think my case is closed.

P.P.S. Alan Ball is a true genius and no show of his should be handed off to someone else.

pookie1899 June 8, 2013 - 10:03 am

I have to agree with Brian-Ray on the Alan Ball coment. As for the books I can’t say I am just starting to read them.

pookie1899 June 8, 2013 - 10:04 am

I totally agree

trista January 5, 2013 - 7:25 pm

they should continue with the season

nixie6678 December 31, 2012 - 10:12 am

The show should keep running!!!! I love true blood and would hate to see it end!!!

beggajons97 November 19, 2012 - 8:38 pm

After seeing all the arguments here a couple of things are on my mind:
1. Those other characters and their stories, they matter. How long could the show really go without them. That being said, I must admit, Andy Bellefleur isn’t very important, I think he should be killed off.
2. Tara is important, she and Pam have a (strange) relationship that will change matters. But even so, in the 6th season, she is way too evil and mean.
3. When the series end (which they will and judging by other HBO dramas it will be soon) there has to be a conclusion. To all of the little stories. My guess is that either the 6th or the (hopefully) 7th season is the ‘tying up loose ends season’ and therefore the last one. Also I remain in my belief that Sookie will end up with Eric, will regain her friendship (though not as loving as it used to be) with Tara which will be working somewhat with Pam whilst having a relationship with her.

#2 fan September 25, 2012 - 10:11 pm

Please don’t cancel the show ….it’s helps me keep the sanity I have left
it’s my get away.

Bmk151 August 26, 2012 - 8:56 pm

Please please please don’t cancel it! It’s my one true addiction!!

jef August 28, 2012 - 7:57 am

It is not cancelled. there will be a Season 6 but it will be under a differentshow runner now that Alan Ball steps away.

Jefd May 30, 2012 - 9:59 am

Only numbers will tell us when the coffin lid is nailed shut on this show. Hollywood is a business. If season 5 holds good ratings and the production can control its budget then it might see another season or so.

The good numbers only happen if people are still in touch with the characters and accept the storylines as they come. Let’s give season 5 a chance and see whathappens.

Besides, who knows a new show-runner, as KASEY mentiions, just might revive the show or at least take it back closer to its source material.

Kasey May 29, 2012 - 11:34 pm

I love watching true blood and i didn’t really mind Alan ball, he made the show more interesting. True blood is never boring, all those mini characters people are being jerks about makes she show more enjoyable. In every episode there is always something new where you can’t keep your eyes off the tv :). I hope true blood continues to make seasons untill they have no more ideas left. Please don’t stop the show just because of a new writer/director/producer a new guy will only bring more new and interesting ideas to the show to make it even BETTER!!!!

Kaddie March 23, 2012 - 5:22 pm

Alan Ball deserted a sinking ship? What ship? The Concordia? The sinking of True Blood is his fault.The storylines, the character development, the writing……. it’s been downhill since the first season. I didn’t think it could get worse or more ludicrous than Season 2 but then came Season 4. Have mercy. Either give the series the support it deserves or end it. Just, please, don’t subject its viewers to the drivel that was last season. It was so awful, it made me want to put a stake in my eye.

Tammy August 26, 2012 - 8:51 pm

After season 1 and 2 what was Alan Ball thinking? I love Sookie Stackhouse and so desperately wanted the seasons to go on and on. I will watch as long as it’s on – no matter what.

Margaux March 14, 2012 - 10:02 pm

I agree with Krtmd, I think Alan jumped off a sinking ship. TB has just lost it’s edge and continues to be the cast of hundreds, with minor characters and storylines muddling the true focus- Sookie!
I have always mainted that TB will end with the last Sookie book in 2013 with season 6, with the books finished, I think it will lose the last little bit of wind in it’s sails.

chelad March 14, 2012 - 7:17 pm

Honestly I give True Blood one more season. To me it was percisely trying to stick to the books what made last season go down in quality. In general AB ideas have been a hit. For example, keeping Lafayette alive, the creation of Jessica. Not all the stories in the books translate well into tv . There where some plot lines that I wondered why they ehre introduced at all. Even the book series should have been finished long ago, I stopped reading because I lost interest. Book 4 was the last good one.
To me season 1 is still the best season of True Blood.
That said I am going to miss it when it’s over.

Iron Ranger March 2, 2012 - 8:31 pm

It’s making me very sad to see all of the posts speculating on how many more seasons True Blood has left. I personally would love it to continue forever! I love the books! I do agree that Alan Ball got way off the original source material & I also agree that some of the ‘minor’ plots do annoy the crap out of me. I’m a Sookie & Eric traditionalist – who cares what happens with my least favorite character Tara – I’m sure they are going to turn her or something to keep her on the show, but I prefer her in the books….she’s not there much! I’m also over them trying to make Bill into more of a Main character than the books have him. The books have alot more interesting stuff with Sophie Ann than to kill her so Bill can be king. I would be sad if there’s only 1 or 2 more seasons of my favorite show & I look forward to another person’s take on the show & maybe getting it back to the Sookie & Eric story that we love so much!

Jacob Klein March 9, 2012 - 1:51 pm

Yeah we did do a few stories on it so we’re sorry to add to that! I love the show myself but it’s certainly near it’s end. Just trying to start a conversation not to get fans down or anything!

Ness September 24, 2012 - 3:41 pm

Jacob your always raining on my parade

Nimi March 2, 2012 - 12:35 pm

To inject more thrills into True Blood, the narrative should not have drifted farther and farther away from the Sookie books by Charlaine Harris. There are plenty of great stories which Alan Ball could weave into spine chilling episodes – This series deserves to be saved. I for one, will be really disappointed to see this imaginative adventure go out with a whimper!

Tammy August 26, 2012 - 8:45 pm

Me too. I wish they would of followed the books more closely.

Carl March 1, 2012 - 10:08 pm

It’s not really fair to bring up the likes of Curb or Real Time with Bill Maher when discussing this. One’s a sitcom, the other’s a talk show; both are easier to keep going without sacrificing quality than dramas are. If you want to be fair, you need to only compare it to HBO’s one hour dramas. And they’ve never gone past six seasons, and even getting that far has only happened twice. Having said that, True Blood is one of their most successful dramas ever, commercially speaking. And when they do decide to end it, they’ll do so well in advance; we’d know by this point if season 5 was going to be the last. So I’ll stand by my prediction of it ending with six seasons.

I still cannot understand what people see in this show, though. A very rare (for HBO, anyway) case of style over substance. I won’t shed any tears when it’s gone, and I’m thrilled that Alan Ball is moving on to other things.

Suffocation March 1, 2012 - 11:20 am

I only will say this, I won’t miss Ball. He’s way too attached to characters, seems to be unable to kill some of them off and therefore we have a load of useless and uninteresting miniplots that divert from the main characters.
Hopefully the new show runner will make it better, I have high hopes.

Tammy August 26, 2012 - 8:43 pm

I totally agree with you and hope we are right!

krtmd March 1, 2012 - 10:02 am

When I commented on your original blog post, I brought up Alan Ball’s contract as a hurdle the show might face for renewal. When he renegotiated at the end of S4, it was for only one more year, and I felt this was significant. But why now for the announcement? Is HBO trying to say to fans that they aren’t happy with the show’s direction? Is AB trying to distance himself from a show that has devolved into a muddle? Why talk about S6 when they’re not even finished shooting S5, let alone airing it?

But my feelings have not changed. I think True Blood is on borrowed time. The stars must align in S5 for this show to continue, IMO. They need strong S4 DVD sales, which they release just prior to the new season as a marketing strategy. They’ll need show ratings comparable to seasons 3 and 4. And I think they’ll need some quality writing and storylines to win back their strongest critics, many who turned away from the show midway through season 4. (I’m not talking about fans here, but pro tv critics.) Of course, they’ll also need excellent writing to keep their fans tuning in. We shall see.


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