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HBO Renews True Blood for Season 5

USMagazine, Thursday, August 11, 2011, 1:44pm (PDT)

Bloody good news!

HBO has renewed its hit vampire drama True Blood for a fifth season, the network announced Thursday.

PHOTOS: Before they were on True Blood

Featuring principle castmembers Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten and Joe Manganiello, the sexy supernatural series will begin production in 2012. Twelve all-new episodes will begin airing on the network next summer.

VIDEO: How Rutina Wesley got her ripped body

"I am thrilled that True Blood continues to enjoy a phenomenal reception from both subscribers and critics," Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming, tells Us Weekly in a statement. "[Creator] Alan Ball and his gifted team have devised the greatest thrill ride on TV."

PHOTOS: Famous vampires through the years

Adds Ball, 54: "I remain amazed and delighted by the enthusiasm of our viewers. I can't imagine having more fun than this."

True Blood's fourth season finale airs Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

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