HBO has renewed the hit show True Blood for Season 7, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. New episodes of the series will debut in summer 2014, with executive producer Brian Buckner returning as showrunner. Here's what Michael Lombardo had to say about the pick-up.

"True Blood remains a signature show for HBO, and a true phenomenon with our viewers. Thanks to Brian Buckner and his talented team, the show continues to be a thrill ride like nothing else on TV."

Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, the show takes place in a world where vampires and humans co-exist, after vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source. The series follows waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people's thoughts, vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård). Alan Ball (creator of the Emmy-winning HBO series Six Feet Under) created the show, which is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

Season 6 of True Blood, which launched June 26, has inspired critical raves, with the Boston Herald praising the show for "suspense, surprises and crackling dialogue," while US Weekly noted that the show's "cheeky humor and vivid imagination are still there to relish," and the New York Post called it "bloody hilarious." According to early data, the show is already exceeding ten million viewers per episode.

For more on the series, visit Facebook.com/TrueBlood and @TrueBloodHBO #trueblood

Season 6 credits: True Blood was created by Alan Ball; based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris; executive producers, Alan Ball, Brian Buckner, Gregg Fienberg and Alexander Woo; co-executive producer, Angela Robinson; supervising producer, Robin Veith; co-producers, Kate Barnow and Christina Jokanovich.

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