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True Blood is an American television drama horror series created and produced by Alan Ball. It is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris. The show is broadcast on the premium cable network HBO in the United States. It is produced by HBO in association with Ball's production company, Your Face Goes Here Entertainment. It premiered on September 7, 2008.

The show's second 12-episode season premiered on June 14, 2009. On July 30, 2009, HBO confirmed that a third season of True Blood will be released in the summer of 2010. Alan Ball has said that he plans to start shooting the third season before Christmas 2009.

True Blood details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, Louisiana (meaning "good time" in French), a fictional small northern Louisiana town. The series centers on Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress at a bar, who falls in love with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).

The first season received critical acclaim and won several awards, including one Golden Globe.

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Production

Development history

Series creator Alan Ball had previously worked with premium cable channel HBO on Six Feet Under, which ran five seasons. In October 2005, after Six Feet Under's finale, Ball signed a two-year agreement with HBO to develop and produce original programming for the network. True Blood became the first project under the deal, after Ball became acquainted with Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mystery books. One day, while early for a dentist appointment, Ball was browsing through Barnes and Noble and came across Dead Until Dark, the first installment in Harris' series. Enjoying it, he read the following entries and became interested in "bringing Harris' vision to television." However, Harris had two other adaptation options for the books when Ball approached her. He said she chose to work with him, though, because "[Ball] really ‘got’ me. That’s how he convinced me to go with him. I just felt that he understood what I was doing with the books.”

The project's hour-long pilot was ordered concurrently with the finalization of the aforementioned development deal and was written, directed and produced by Ball. The pilot was shot in the early summer of 2007 and was officially ordered to series in August, at which point Ball had already written several more episodes. Production on the series began later that fall, with Brook Kerr, who portrayed Tara Thornton in the original pilot, being replaced by Rutina Wesley. Two more episodes of the series had been filmed before the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike shut down production of the 12-episode first season until 2008. That September, after only the first two episodes of the series had aired, HBO placed an order for a second season of twelve episodes of the show, with production scheduled to commence in January 2009 for a summer premiere.

Opening title sequence

TrueBloodOpeningSequence

Digital Kitchen wished to explore themes of redemption and forgiveness in the opening title sequence.

{C}True Blood's title sequence was created by Digital Kitchen, a production studio that was also responsible for creating the title sequence of Six Feet Under. The sequence, which is primarily composed of portrayals of the show's deep South setting, is played to "Bad Things" by Jace Everett.

Conceptually, Digital Kitchen elected to construct the sequence around the idea of "the whore in the house of prayer" by intermingling contradictory images of sex, violence and religion and displaying them from the point of view of "a supernatural, predatory creature observing human beings from the shadows ..." Digital Kitchen also wished to explore ideas of redemption and forgiveness, and thus arranged for the sequence to progress from morning to night and to culminate in a baptism.

Most of the footage used in the sequence was filmed on location by Digital Kitchen. Crew members took a four-day trip to Louisiana to film and also shot at a Chicago church and on a stage and in a bar in Seattle. Additionally, several Digital Kitchen crew members made cameo appearances in the sequence.

In editing the opening, Digital Kitchen wanted to express how "religious fanaticism" and "sexual energy" could corrupt humans and make them animalistic. Accordingly, several frames of some shots were cut to give movements a jittery feel, while other shots were simply played back very slowly. Individual frames were also splattered with drops of blood. The sequence's transitions were constructed differently, though; they were made with a Polaroid transfer technique. The last frame of one shot and the first frame of another were taken as a single Polaroid photo, which was then divided between emulsion and backing. The emulsion was then filmed being further separated by chemicals and those shots of this separation were placed back into the final edit.

Eight different typefaces, inspired by Southern road signage, were also created manually by Camm Rowland for cast and crew credits, as well as the show's title card.

Music

Gary Calamar, the music supervisor for the series, said that his goal for the soundtrack to the show is to create something "swampy, bluesy and spooky" and to feature local Louisiana musicians. Composer Nathan Barr writes the original score for the series which features cello, guitar, prepared piano and glass harmonica among other instruments, all of which he performs himself.

Elektra/Atlantic Records released a True Blood soundtrack on May 19, 2009, the same day as the release of the DVD and Blu-ray of the first season. Nathan Barr's original score for True Blood will be released on CD in August 2009.

Both Nathan Barr and Jace Everett won 2009 awards from Broadcast Music Incorporated in the BMI Cable Awards category for, respectively, True Blood's original score and theme song.

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Plot

Following the creation of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is a telepath and waitress at Merlotte's Bar and Grill in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, owned by Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), a Shapeshifter — though this secret is kept hidden. One night, Sookie meets Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old vampire who has returned to Bon Temps, Louisiana following the death of his last remaining relative. As she cannot hear his thoughts, she finds it easy to be in his company and over the first season, the two become romantically involved.

Season one

The main mystery of season 1 concerns the murders of women connected to Sookie's brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten). Maudette Pickens and Dawn Green are both strangled shortly after having been alone with Jason. Though Detective Bellefleur has little doubt that Jason is the killer, the town sheriff does not suspect him. Jason and Sookie's grandmother is murdered shortly afterward. At the end of the season it is revealed that Arlene Fowler's fiancé, Rene Lenier, is actually a man named Drew Marshall who created a fake identity, Cajun accent and all. He has been killing women he considers "fangbangers".

The first season also focuses on Sookie's relationship with Bill and Sam's relationship with Sookie's friend Tara. Bill explains the rules of being a vampire to Sookie and, after he finds himself killing a vampire to defend Sookie, he is forced to turn a young girl, Jessica, as punishment. In the last episode of the season, this new vampire is left with Bill under his care. After Maudette and Dawn's murders Jason becomes addicted to vampire blood and has a short relationship with another addict, Amy Burley, which ends when she is murdered by Drew. Season one ends with the discovery of a body in Detective Andy Bellefleur's car in Merlotte's parking lot. The first episode of season two reveals the body to be that of Miss Jeannette, the drugstore clerk who has given phony exorcisms to Tara and her mother.

Season two

Season two is based on Living Dead in Dallas, the second book in the Sookie Stackhouse novels. It centers on the disappearance of the 2,000 year old vampire and Sheriff of Area 9 in Dallas, Godric. Maryann Forrester, the woman who takes Tara into her house and Steve Newlin, the leader of the Fellowship of the Sun are the two main trouble-makers of the season.

In the beginning of the season, Miss Jeanette is found dead in the parking lot of Merlottes. She’s found with her heart cut out in the backseat of Detective Andy Bellefleur’s car. Jason, who goes to the Fellowship of the Sun leadership conference, quickly becomes close to Steve and Sarah Newlin, the leaders of the church. This actually turns into an affair with Sarah. Later, Steve believes that Jason is working with vampires and attempts to have him killed.

Jessica Hamby, the 17 year-old girl who was turned by Bill as punishment for killing Longshadow, begins a relationship with Hoyt Fortenberry. They met when Jessica went to Merlotte’s to meet someone. They bonded quickly and ended up at the old Compton house.

Sookie is attacked by a monster that poisons her and leaves deep scratches in her back. Sookie is healed, thanks to Dr. Ludwig and the vampires at Fangtasia. Daphne Landry, the new waitress at Merlotte’s, was also attacked by the monster and had scars on her back.

Daphne shows Sam that she’s a shapeshifter and they begin a relationship. They are happy, but Daphne ultimately betrays him for Maryann, who plans to sacrifice him to “The God who Comes.” Sam escapes before he can be killed, and Daphne dies soon after. Sam is framed for her murder and placed in jail. Daphne is killed by Eggs, who is under Maryann’s spell. She’s killed when her heart is cut out of her chest. Maryann takes her heart, cuts it up and serves it to Tara and Eggs.

Godric is Eric’s maker, and when he goes missing, Eric asks Sookie to go to Dallas in search of him. In exchange for Sookie’s services, Lafayette Reynolds is freed from the basement of Fangtasia. Lafayette's cousin, Sookie's childhood best friend, Tara Thornton starts dating Eggs Talley, the ex-criminal that also lives with Maryann.

Sookie infiltrates the Church of the Sun in order to get a lead on where Godric is. She is with one of the Dallas vampires’ human, Hugo. While at the church, Hugo betrays her and they are subsequently locked up in the church’s basement. Hugo believes that the church will protect him, but he ends up being beaten up. When he’s brought before the vampires for his punishment, Godric lets him go free.

After being betrayed by Eric, Bill encounters Lorena Krasiki. Lorena is keeping Bill in the hotel room. She’s mad at Bill because he left her and she still loves him. It’s depicted through flashbacks that Bill hated being with her and he almost had to force her to “release him”. Bill hits her over the head in order to help save Sookie from the Church of the Sun.

When Sookie, Jason and Bill return to Bon Temps, Bill tries to get help from Sophie-Anne Leclerq, the queen of Louisiana. Sophie-Anne tells him about the maenad and actually helps him out a great deal.

Cast and characters

SookieStackhouse

Anna Paquin plays Sookie Stackhouse

{C}The first season of True Blood had a total of 16 main characters with the sixteen actors portraying them receiving star billing in the opening credits. Anna Paquin stars as Sookie Stackhouse, a sweet hearted, brave and naive waitress at Merlotte's Bar and Grill. Sookie is a telepath, capable of hearing the thoughts of all humans in her vicinity. Stephen Moyer plays Bill Compton, a dark and mysterious vampire, having returned to his original hometown of Bon Temps. He and Sookie develop a mutual attraction to each other almost instantly. Sam Trammell plays Sam Merlotte, the mild mannered owner of Merlotte's who is secretly a shapeshifter. Shapeshifters have not yet revealed themselves to the world at large in the same way vampires have. Sam also harbors a romantic love for Sookie. Ryan Kwanten plays Jason Stackhouse, Sookie's promiscuous, simple minded brother who attracts all the women in town. Rutina Wesley plays Tara Thornton, Sookie's fiery and outspoken best friend who puts on an aggressive front to hide her vulnerabilities due to a troubled family background.

Chris Bauer plays Andy Bellefleur, the somewhat incompetent and short tempered detective at Bon Temps Police Department. Lynn Collins plays Dawn Green, a confident waitress at Merlotte's who has a turbulent on-off sexual affair with Jason. Nelsan Ellis plays Lafayette Reynolds, Tara's gay cousin who possesses both tough, survivalist qualities and effeminate, camp qualities. He holds down four jobs as a short order cook at Merlotte's, a road crew worker, a prostitute and drug dealer. Jim Parrack plays Hoyt Fortenberry, an innocent and kind friend and co-worker of Jason's who believes in the best of others, as observed by Sookie when she reads his mind. Carrie Preston plays Arlene Fowler, an older waitress at Merlotte's who has been married multiple times. Michael Raymond-James plays René Lenier, Arlene's Cajun boyfriend who is also a friend and co-worker of Jason and Hoyt. William Sanderson plays Bud Dearborne, the chief sherrif at Bon Temps Police Department who is distrustful of vampires. Lois Smith plays Adele Stackhouse, Sookie and Jason's hospitable and down to earth grandmother. All of the above characters make their first appearance in the pilot episode, "Strange Love".

Alexander Skarsgård plays Eric Northman, first introduced in season 1's fourth episode "Escape from Dragon House", a one thousand year old vampire who owns the vampire bar Fangtasia and also acts as Sheriff of Louisiana's Area Five in the vampire political system. Lizzy Caplan plays Amy Burley, introduced in the seventh episode of the season, "Burning House of Love", is a New Age hippie and love interest for Jason. Despite her intelligent, friendly exterior, Amy is hiding psychological problems and has a heavy reliance on drugs, particularly vampire blood , colloquially referred to as V. Stephen Root plays Eddie Gauthier, a lonely, middle aged, recently turned vampire who is kidnapped by Jason and Amy for his blood.

Season 2 of True Blood seen 11 of the main characters from season 1 return with Lynn Collins, Lois Smith, Stephen Root, Lizzy Caplan and Michael Raymond-James have previously departed the cast. Todd Lowe who plays Terry Bellefleur, Andy's cousin, an oddball cook and Iraq war veteran at Merlotte's first appeared in the second episode of season one, "The First Taste", and was promoted to series regular in season 2. Michelle Forbes plays Maryann Forrester, a fun loving woman who takes Tara in and is secretly revealed to be a maenad who first appears in the tenth episode of season one "I Don't Wanna Know" and is subsequently promoted to regular status in the second season. Also appearing in that episode is Deborah Ann Woll who plays Jessica Hamby, a newborn vampire created by Bill who is both petulant and vulnerable. She is also promoted to regular status in the second season. Mariana Klaveno plays Lorena Krasiki, Bill's manipulative and psychotic maker of Bill, who appeared in the fifth episode of season 1 "Sparks Fly Out" and became a regular character in season 2. Mehcad Brooks plays Benedict "Eggs" Talley, a handsome young musician who resides with Maryann and acts as a love interest for Tara, first introduced in the season one finale "You'll Be the Death of Me" and promoted to regular status in the second season.Michael McMillian plays Reverend Steve Newlin, the charming but bigoted minister and leader of the Fellowship of the Sun anti vampire church who first appeared in season one's third episode "Mine" but is promoted to regular status in season 2. Anna Camp plays Sarah Newlin, Steve's cheery wife who assists him in running the church and is first introduced in the season 2 premier, "Nothing but the Blood". This brings the total number of main characters for season 2 to 18.

The third season of True Blood sees the return of fourteen main characters from the second season with the departure of Anna Camp, Michael McMillian, Michelle Forbes and Mehcad Brooks although Michael McMillian continued to appear in a recurring capacity during the season. After two seasons as a recurring character, Kristin Bauer van Straten who plays Pam Swynford De Beaufort, Eric's snarky progeny is promoted to regular status. The second episode of season 3 "Beautifully Broken" introduced Marshall Allman as Tommy Mickens, Sam's difficult and estranged younger brother who is also a shapeshifter, Kevin Alejandro as Jesus Velasquez, a confident gay nurse who takes care of Lafayette's mother and is later revealed to be a brujo, Denis O'Hare as Russell Edgington, the ambitious and ancient vampire king of Mississippi, and Lindsay Pulsipher as Crystal Norris, a love interest for Jason from the strange community of Hotshot. She is later revealed to be a werepanther. This brings a total of nineteen character to the main cast for season 3.

With the fourth season, it was announced that Fiona Shaw would be joining the cast as Marnie Stonebrook, a sweet Wiccan possessed by the dark witch Antonia Gavilán de Logroño. Janina Gavankar plays Luna Garza, a shapeshifter and love interest for Sam. Joe Manganiello who plays Alcide Herveaux, a gruff but ultimately good werewolf, who previously appeared a recurring character in season 3 will have a starring role in season 4.

Differences between the books and TV series

The True Blood TV series is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries book series by Charlaine Harris. Season 1 of True Blood is based on Dead Until Dark, the first book in the series while Season 2 of True Blood is based on Living Dead In Dallas, the second book in the series. Seasons 3 and 4 of True Blood are set to be based on Books 3 and 4, Club Dead and Dead to the World respectively. The books are first person accounts by Sookie Stackhouse and when other characters are not in a scene with her, they disappear from the story. In the TV series, supporting characters are given their own storylines alongside Sookie. Some of these storylines are entirely new ones created by Alan Ball while other ones are stories that exist in the background of Charlaine's stories. While plotlines involving Sookie stick closely to those of the book, some of the storylines from other characters overlap with Sookie's. Below is a list of characters and how their plotlines differ from those in the book.

Sookie Stackhouse

  • In the books, Sookie has few close friends. She's involved in a romantic relationship with Bill Compton and is good friends with Sam Merlotte and Arlene. She was also friends with Tara Thornton in high school but become friendly acquaintances afterwards. In the TV series, Sookie and Tara have been friends since childhood and have been extremely close ever since. Sookie, in the television series, has many more friends than she does in the book and is seen to be quite close to Lafayette Reynolds, Amy Burley and Dawn Green.
  • Sookie doesn't meet the famous vampire Bubba and he does not guard her while Bill is away while a killer is on the loose, Sam Merlotte guards her instead. It has been stated that Bubba will not be part of True Blood due to the costs of using Elvis Presley's image.
  • Sookie is not shown to have any special powers besides reading minds and communicating to certain people with her mind in the books. In the TV series, Sookie is seen to attack Rene Lenier with her mind powers in the graveyard when he is chasing her, she reads his mind while he screams, visibly in pain, "Stay out of my mind, bitch!" She also attacks Maryann with a special magic in her hands
  • The final scene of the book Dead Until Dark differs slightly from the finale of Season 1 of True Blood. In the book, Sookie is beaten up and attacked by Rene Lenier at night in the graveyard but manages to fight him off due to the powerful vampire blood inside her. She weakens Rene greatly and manages to hide away in Bill's house where she passes out and wakes up in a hospital ward with Bill beside her. He tells her that Rene has been arrested. In the television series, Rene attacks Sookie in the graveyard during the day. Sam Merlotte becomes aware that Rene is trying to kill Sookie and shapeshifts into a dog and attacks Rene. Bill is asleep in his hidey hole during the day. Realizing (from having Sookie's blood) that Sookie is in danger, he manages to pull himself out of his vampire induced sleep and wanders out into the sun. He begins to burn in his quest to save Sookie. While Sam and Rene fight (Rene discovers Sam is a shapeshifter when he kicks Sam and Sam turns back into a man), Sookie picks up a shovel and decapitates Rene with it. She and Sam bury Bill's burning body, saving him in the process. Sookie passes out and finds herself in her home surrounded by Jason, Sam, Tara, Lafayette and Arlene, later to be visited by a fully healed Bill.
  • Sookie asks Tara to move in with her at the start of Season 2 of True Blood. Sookie and Tara move in together and while Sookie is in Dallas, Maryann Forrester and Eggs Talley move in temporarily. At the end of the series, Sookie and Tara continue to live with each other. In Books 1 and 2, Sookie lives on her own.
  • In the books, Sookie has blue eyes. In the TV series, she has brown eyes.
  • Sookie bargains with Eric, in the TV series, to release Lafayette from imprisonment. No such event happens in the book.
  • In the books, Sookie is saved from the Fellowship of the Sun by a pack of werewolves. In the TV series, she and Eric are saved by Jason and Godric .

Jason Stackhouse

  • In the books, Jason has blue eyes. In the TV series, he has brown eyes.
  • In the books, Jason is said to have had a one night stand with Maudette Pickens months before her killing while having casual sexual affairs with Dawn Green and Amy Burley the nights before they were killed. In the TV series, Maudette is killed the night after they had sex. Herself and Jason were watching a homemade video of Maudette and Liam having sex. Jason and Maudette decide to repeat the act and Maudette pretends to be strangled during their rough sex. Jason flees the scene, thinking he killed her, but later finds out that she wasn't actually dead until she was killed later by the real killer.
  • Dawn's character is more fleshed out on TV than she is in the book. She appears to be a fun loving woman who rekindles her sexual affair with Jason. She teases Lafayette with her body and handcuffs Jason to the bed, showing a kinky side. She also appears to be temperamental when Jason gets annoyed with her, she shoots at him with a gun to get out of her own house. This is not seen in the books.
  • Amy is also more fleshed out on TV than she in the books. On TV, herself and Jason meet at Fangtasia. She is an intellectual free spirited hippie and her and Jason fall in love. Amy gets a job waitressing at Merlotte's but also has a dark side. She convinces Jason into helping her kidnap the vampire Eddie Gauthier and drain him off his blood as herself and Jason are addicted to V blood. She stakes Eddie later, upsetting Jason who had befriended Eddie. She promises to give up V blood for Jason after once last time. Amy is strangled after herself and Jason are asleep following sex. None of this is seen in the book.
  • In the TV series, Jason joins the Fellowship of the Sun whilst in jail for killing Amy. He attends the Fellowship camp in Dallas and has an affair with Sarah Newlin . He soon learns the error of the Fellowship ways and helps Sookie and Eric from the Church when they are trapped by Steve and Sarah. Jason returns to Stan Davis' nest with Sookie, Eric, Bill and Godric when the house is hit by a bomb. In the books, Jason remains in Bon Temps and never joins the Fellowship Of The Sun.

Sam Merlotte

  • In Season 1 of the TV series, Sam is involved in a secret sexual relationship with Tara Thornton. In the books, Sam never gets involved with Tara and barely knows her at all.
  • In the books, Sam has strawberry blonde hair. In the TV series, he has gray hair.
  • In the first book, Sam shares only one kiss with Sookie after taking her out on a date. In Season 1 of the TV series, Sam and Sookie share two kisses, once after their date and the second when Sam is guarding Sookie while Bill is away.
  • The final scene of the book Dead Until Dark differs slightly from the finale of Season 1 of True Blood. In the book, Sookie is beaten up and attacked by Rene Lenier at night in the graveyard but manages to fight him off due to the powerful vampire blood inside her. She weakens Rene greatly and manages to hide away in Bill's house where she passes out and wakes up in a hospital ward with Bill beside her. He tells her that Rene has been arrested. In the television series, Rene attacks Sookie in the graveyard during the day. Sam Merlotte becomes aware that Rene is trying to kill Sookie and shapeshifts into a dog and attacks Rene. Bill is asleep in his hidey hole during the day. Realising (from having Sookie's blood) that Sookie is in danger, he manages to pull himself out of his vampire induced sleep and wanders out into the sun. He begins to burn in his quest to save Sookie. While Sam and Rene fight (Rene discovers Sam is a shapeshifter when he kicks Sam and Sam turns back into a man), Sookie picks up a shovel and decapitates Rene with it. She and Sam bury Bill's burning body, saving him in the process. Sookie passes out and finds herself in her home surrounded by Jason, Sam, Tara, Lafayette and Arlene, later to be visited by a fully healed Bill.
  • In the second book, Sam and the maenad Callisto have a secret relationship. In Season 2 of the TV series, Sam is distrustful of the maenad Maryann Forrester and they never engage in a relationship. They had a previous sexual encounter when Sam was in his teens but Sam was frightened when she started vibrating. Sam stole from Maryann and since then, he and Maryann have had an antagonistic relationship. Sam starts up a relationship with a fellow shapeshifter named Daphne Landry . He is unaware, however, that Daphne worships Maryann, who later instigates the killing of Daphne.
  • At the end of Season 2, Sam leaves Bon Temps to search for his true family. In the TV series, Sam was adopted by a human family. In the books, Sam's background is not recalled in any major detail and he remains in Bon Temps throughout the book series.

Tara Thornton

  • In the books; Tara is Caucasian, sophisticated and fashionable, and owner of a Shreveport clothing store named Tara's Togs. In the TV series, Tara is African-American, a barmaid at Merlotte's and is a lot more brash and angry than she appears in the books. She also has a much closer and longer friendship with Sookie than she does in the book.
  • In the books, Tara is only a minor character and does not appear until Book 2. Tara is a major character in the TV series, appearing in the first two seasons of the show.
  • In the books, Tara was raised by her alcoholic parents. Her mother's name is Myrna. She is also the youngest of several children who left home leaving Tara to fend herself, often retreating to the Stackhouses during her teens. Her parents have since died. In the TV series, Tara is an only child who was raised by her alcoholic mother Lettie Mae. Her father walked out on them at an early age. Tara takes Lettie Mae to be exorcised of the alcoholic demon inside of Lettie Mae by Miss Jeanette. Lettie Mae is cured of her alcoholism although she and Tara still have a conflicted relationship. Lettie Mae is still alive at the end of Season 2. Tara used to retreat to the Stackhouses home since she was six years old during Lettie Mae's alcoholism.
  • In the TV series, Tara is a first cousin of Lafayette Reynolds, as he is the son of Tara's aunt, Ruby Jean Reynolds the sister of Tara's mother, Lettie Mae. In the books, the two are unrelated.

Reception

Critical reception of True Blood has generally been favorable, despite the fact that initial impressions were mixed. The New York Post critic wrote of the opening episodes: "If HBO's new vampire show is any indication, there would still be countless deaths - especially among vampire hunters and the viewers who love them - because everyone would be dying of boredom. And so it is with HBO's new series from death-obsessed Alan Ball, creator of the legendary Six Feet Under, whose new show True Blood, won't so much make your blood run cold as it will leave you cold."

Whereas USA Today concluded: "Sexy, witty and unabashedly peculiar, True Blood is a blood-drenched Southern Gothic romantic parable set in a world where vampires are out and about and campaigning for equal rights. Part mystery, part fantasy, part comedy, and all wildly imaginative exaggeration, [True] Blood proves that there's still vibrant life — or death — left in the "star-crossed lovers" paradigm. You just have to know where to stake your romantic claim."

Ratings

The first episode of True Blood debuted at a very modest 1.44 million viewers compared to the network's past drama premiers such as Big Love which premiered at 4.56 million, and John from Cincinnati] which debuted at 3.4 million. However, by late November 2008, 6.8 million a week were watching: this figure included repeat and on-demand viewings. The season finale's viewership was 2.4 million. True Blood has reportedly become HBO's most popular series since The Sopranos and Sex and the City.

The second season premiere of the series on June 14, 2009 was watched by 3.7 million viewers, making it the most watched program on HBO since the series finale of The Sopranos. The total number of viewers for the season premiere, including the late night replay, was 5.1 million. The seventh episode of the second season was seen by 4.3 million viewers, a new record for the series.

Us Ratings

Season 1 Ratings

Episode # Episode Title Viewers
#1.01 Strange Love 1.44
#1.02 The First Taste 1.81
#1.03 Mine 1.82
#1.04 Escape from Dragon House 1.82
#1.05 Sparks Fly Out 1.13
#1.06 Cold Ground 1.82
#1.07 Burning House of Love 2.10
#1.08 The Fourth Man In The Fire 2.07
#1.09 Plaisir d'Amour 2.35
#1.10 I Don't Wanna Know 2.47
#1.11 To Love Is To Bury 2.67
#1.12 You'll be The Death of Me 2.45
Average 2.00


Season 2 Ratings

Episode # Episode Title Viewers
#2.01 Nothing But The Blood 3.70
#2.02 Keep This Party Going 3.41
#2.03 Scratches 3.70
#2.04 Shake and Fingerpop 3.90
#2.05 Never Let Me Go 3.85
#2.06 Hard-Hearted Hannah 4.00
#2.07 Release me 4.27
#2.08 Timebomb 4.43
#2.09 I Will Rise Up 4.50
#2.10 New World In My View 5.33
#2.11 Frenzy 5.19
#2.12 Beyond Here Lies Nothin' 5.11
Average 4.28


Season 3 Ratings

Episode # Episode Title Viewers
#3.01 Bad Blood 5.10
#3.02 Beautifully Broken 4.26
#3.03 It Hurts Me Too 4.46
#3.04 9 Crimes 4.68
#3.05 Trouble 4.86
#3.06 I Got a Right to Sing The Blues 4.74
#3.07 Hitting The Ground 5.24
#3.08 Night on The Sun 5.09
#3.09 Everything is Broken 5.00
#3.10 I Smell a Rat 5.39
#3.11 Fresh Blood 5.44
#3.12 Evil Is Going On 5.38
Averrage 4.97


Season 4 Ratings

Episode # Episode Title Viewers
#4.01 She's Not There 5.42
#4.02 You Smell Like Dinner 2.90
#4.03 If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin' 5.04
#4.04 I'm Alive and on Fire 5.10
#4.05 Me and the Devil 5.26
#4.06 I Wish I Was the Moon 5.19
#4.07 Cold Grey Light of Dawn 5.14
#4.08 Spellbound 5.30
#4.09 Let's Get Out of Here 5.53
#4.10 Burning Down the House 5.31
#4.11 Soul of Fire 4.39
#4.12 And When I Die 5.05
Averrage 4.97


Season 5 Ratings

Episode # Episode Title Viewers
#5.01 Turn! Turn! Turn! 5.20
#5.02 Authority Always Wins 4.41
#5.03 Whatever I Am, You Made Me 4.66
#5.04 We'll Meet Again TBA
#5.05 Let's Boot and Rally TBA
#5.06 Hopeless TBA
#5.07 In the Beginning TBA
#5.08 Somebody That I Used to Know TBA
#5.09 Everybody Wants to Rule the World TBA
#5.10 Gone, Gone, Gone TBA
#5.11 Finally TBA
#5.12 Save Yourself TBA
Averrage

Episodes

# Image Title Airdate
01 1x01 "Strange Love" September 7, 2008
Two years after vampires have "come out of the coffin", the life of 25-year-old waitress Sookie Stackhouse is changed when 173-year-old Bill Compton walks into Merlotte's Bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Meanwhile, Sookie's friend Tara comes to work at Merlotte's while Sookie's tomcatting brother Jason finds himself on the wrong side of the law.
02 FirstTasteBill "The First Taste" September 14, 2008
After saving Sookie from the Rattray's revenge, Bill uses his vampire blood to heal Sookie and it leaves her with some strange side effects. In return, Sookie invites him to her house for a get-to-know-you gathering with Jason, Tara and Gran. Jason is released from custody, having only been a person of interest in the murder investigation of Maudette. He continues his amorous ways with Dawn, discovering her to also have had encounters with a vampire. Tara expresses her interest in Jason, while the Rattrays are killed by an apparent freak tornado. Later, out looking for Bill, Sookie comes across strange vampires.
03 MineMain "Mine" September 21, 2008
Bill must suddenly lay claim to Sookie in order to protect her from a cadre of his vampire acquaintances. At Merlotte's, Sam and Tara seek refuge from their respective problems, and Jason asks Lafayette for medicinal help. Dawn is found dead in her bed after an intimate encounter and falling-out with Jason.
04 1x04 "Escape from Dragon House" September 28, 2008
When another Bon Temps resident is found murdered under suspicious circumstances, Jason is once again taken into custody and it is up to Sookie to uncover the identity of the real killer and clear her brother's name. Bill takes Sookie to the vampire bar Fangtasia, where she is introduced to Eric, a thousand-year-old Viking vampire and Bill's superior.
05 1x05 "Sparks Fly Out" October 5, 2008
Spurned by an exasperated Sookie, Bill ends up winning over Adele's church audience with his vivid recollections from the Civil War, though Andy and Bud remain suspicious. Sam tries to make the most of his fading opportunity with Sookie, though she's clearly not ready to commit. Ignoring Tara's rebuff, Lafayette convinces Jason to give vampire blood, aka "V juice," another shot. Alone at home, Bill remembers the painful wartime incident that parted him from his beloved family and changed his fate forever.
06 1x06 "Cold Ground" October 12, 2008
Numbed by tragedy, Sookie looks for refuge from the cacophony of her friends' and neighbors' inner voices. After lashing out at his sister and decking Andy, Jason wrestles with withdrawal symptoms from his V juice habit. Tara resists the overtures of her alcoholic mother Lettie Mae, who's trying to rid herself of a demon and needs her daughter's help (and money). Sam and Tara make a connection in their mutual search for "something real."
07 1x07 "Burning House of Love" October 19, 2008
Sookie's painful childhood revelation about her Uncle Bartlett spurs Bill into vengeful action. Despite her skepticism, Tara agrees to pay for an exorcism to purge Lettie Mae of a demon. In search of V juice, Jason travels to Fangtasia, where he bonds with an adventurous young woman named Amy. A trio of rednecks decide to exact vigilante justice on a pack of vampires who crashed Merlotte's in search of their wayward mate Bill.
08 SookieBillGraveyard "The Fourth Man in the Fire" October 26, 2008
Sookie tries to hold herself together in the wake of another possible tragedy. Tara is amazed by Lettie Mae's turnaround, and considers similar therapy for herself after lashing out at Sookie and Sam. Jason's new squeeze Amy charms the crowd at Merlotte's, but shows a darker side to Jason when their V juice well runs dry. René pops the question to Arlene while Sookie is baby-sitting her kids. Later, at Bill's request on behalf of Eric, Sookie agrees to use her gifts to help Eric, a powerful vampire sheriff, root out a thief at Fangtasia.
09 SamBusted "Plaisir D'Amour" November 2, 2008
Bill breaks a vampire taboo in saving Sookie from vampire Longshadow's attack, and must pay a steep price as a result. Jason and Amy break their own taboo by kidnapping a vampire named Eddie in order to harvest his blood. With Lettie Mae apparently cured, a skeptical Tara consults with Miss Jeanette about exorcising her own inner demon. Sookie returns home to yet another horrific tragedy, prompting Bill to enlist an unlikely bodyguard - Sam - to protect her while he's away.
10 1x10 "I Don't Wanna Know" November 9, 2008
Caught in a compromising position, Sam shares a secret with an incredulous Sookie. Thinking she's been purged of her demon, Tara celebrates with Lettie Mae - but goes off the deep end when she uncovers Miss Jeanette's true intentions. Sookie has a disturbing revelation during Arlene and René's engagement party at Merlotte's. Jason and Amy debate what to do with Eddie. Tara speeds into a bizarre roadside encounter that lands her in jail. At a vampire tribunal to decide his fate, Bill faces a harsh penalty for his offense, but the magister decides on a more creative sentence involving a human teen named Jessica.
11 1x11 "To Love Is to Bury" November 16, 2008
Bill fulfills the conditions of the tribunal's sentence, although he and Eric find that Jessica doesn't quite turn (out) as expected. Trying to solve the mystery behind her most recent vision, Sookie heads to a pie shop with Sam and later puts the squeeze on a philandering police officer to get info on a murder suspect. Jason helps clean up Amy's bloody mess, worrying about their future, but is unable to break away. Tara's anger over Lettie Mae's refusal to bail her out of jail is tempered when Maryann Forrester, a wealthy "social worker," comes to her rescue. Disgusted by the hypocrisy of a vamp-bashing state senator, Lafayette decides to pay him a warning visit on the campaign trail. In Bill's absence, a vulnerable Sookie finds comfort in Sam. A distraught, self-doubting Jason finds himself in hot water with Sheriff Bud and Detective Andy, again.
12 BillBurning "You'll Be the Death of Me" November 23, 2008
Sookie finds a link to the string of killings in Bon Temps - and is soon in the murderer's cross hairs again. Tara decides to make the most of her second chance with Maryann. Jason finds a new calling after anti-vampire zealot Orry visits him in jail. Bill tempts fate during his latest attempt to save Sookie. Sam is perturbed by a surprise encounter with an old acquaintance. Lafayette finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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# Image Title Airdate
01 2x01 "Nothing but the Blood" June 14, 2009
The staff at Merlotte's are on edge when they find the body of a woman - who turns out to be Tara's fake exorcist - in a parked car with her heart torn out. Now that Bill has turned Jessica Hamby into a vampire, she is living with him and he is trying to teach her their own unique code of ethics. Sookie isn't too sure she likes the fact that Bill has this young, attractive woman living him but their own relationship and emotions are too strong to set aside. Tara is still living in Maryann's luxurious home and she continues flirting with Eggs who is also living there. Maryan has a few choice words for Tara's mother when they meet. It also turns out that Sam Merlotte and Maryann have quite a history together and Sam tries to make amends. Maryann has her own ideas however. Jason Stackhouse, who found religion while temporarily in jail, now considers going off to Texas for a Church-run leadership seminar.
02 2x02 "Keep This Party Going" June 21, 2009
Having kissed and made up, Sookie and Bill's relationship seems stronger than ever. Bill still has the problem of Jessica, who is proving to be just a bit of a wild child. Clan leader Eric Northman again wants to use Sookie's services. Feeling guilty about her role in having Jessica made into a vampire, Sookie agrees to take her to her home where she promises she just want to see her parents and sister one more time. Things get out of hand when she jumps out of the car and she and Sookie are soon paying a visit. It's left to an outraged Bill to resolve everything. Jason attends the leadership seminar run by the Church of the Sun and makes quite a first impression. Maryann visits Sam Merlotte's bar with interesting effects. She also reminds Sam of just who is the most powerful between them. Lafayette manages to escape from Eric's dungeon but, unable to get away completely, suggests an alternate way out to his captors.
03 2x03 "Scratches" June 28, 2009
An outraged Bill tells Sookie in no uncertain terms that she committed a grave error in letting Jessica visit her family. Hurt and upset, Sookie decides to walk the 20 miles home but doesn't get very far when she is attacked by a half-bull, half-man beast leaving huge gashes on her back. When his blood is unable to revive her, Bill turns to Eric for assistance and it's determined she has somehow been poisoned. Both of them are puzzled however by the beast that attacked her and have no idea what they may be up against. Once recovered, Sookie makes a deal for Lafayette's release. Maryann throws a big party but it's all a little too wild for Tara. Sam Merlotte wants to pack it in for a while and leave town. Wild child Jessica goes to Merlotte's bar where she meets Hoyt Fortenberry and they immediately hit it off. New waitress Daphne decides to go for a midnight swim with Sam and reveals something quite interesting.
04 SookieArrivesInDallas "Shake and Fingerpop" July 12, 2009
As per her deal with Eric, Sookie and Bill travel to Dallas to help find the missing head of the local vampire community. They take Jessica along but on arrival, the driver meeting them attempts to abduct Sookie. Maryann throws a party for Tara who has now moved into Sookie's house. A lot of people show up and once again she weaves her magic, revealing something interesting about herself in the process. Sam Merlotte isn't sure starting a relationship with Daphne is a good idea but she tells him she knows his secret. Lafayette is still recovering from his wounds when Eric makes him a proposition. Jason is still making an impression at Church camp and is asked to move in with Sarah and Steve Newlin.
05 GodricCover "Never Let Me Go" July 19, 2009
Still in Dallas with Bill and Jessica, Sookie is intent on keeping her part of the bargain and try to find the missing Godric despite the strange behavior of his cohorts. Eric tells Bill his true reason for wanting to find Godric. Sookie tries to learn more from the bellhop who has telepathic powers. Back in Bon Temps, most are still recovering from the effects of Tara's birthday party. Sam learns that he and Daphne have more in common that he could ever have imagined. Maryann announces that she is moving into Sookie's house and when told that she can't, casts a spell on Tara to get her to change her mind. Over at the Light of Day Institute, Jason continues to impress with his leadership skills. Fed up with husband Steve's lack of attention and respect however, Sarah Newlin decides to spend a little private time with Jason.
06 2x06 "Hard-Hearted Hannah" July 26, 2009
Tara and Eggs are driving down the highway when he suddenly realizes he has memories of having been there before. As he explores the nearby woods, he realizes it is an evil place. Sam and Daphne are having a good time and go frolicking in the woods. She has a surprise for him that is not welcome. Eric is out to take possession of Sookie and has Bill's old girlfriend, who has not seen him for 70 years, come to town. We learn that Bill was not always the gentle, mild-mannered vampire he is today. In Dallas, Sookie is partnered with Hugo - another human who is dating a vampire - for their visit to the Light of Day Institute. Posing as an engaged couple looking for a church to wed, they meet the Newlins and have a tour of the church - but Steve also has a surprise for them. Jason is asked to build a scaffold for a sunrise ceremony where a vampire will be exposed to the dawn sun before the entire congregation. Jason is having serious doubts about whether he wants to be part of this group.
07 2x07 "Release Me" August 2, 2009
Still being held in the basement at the Church, it becomes obvious to Sookie that Steve knew they were coming, but is not sure why. That tells her there is a spy among them. She tries to get a message to Bill, but he is being held prisoner by his maker, who refuses to let him go after the woman he loves. In flashbacks, Bill's conversion to a less violent lifestyle is revealed. When Steve learns Sookie's true identity, he makes the connection with Jason and assumes he's a spy. As they begin to wreak their vengeance, Sookie is saved by someone she has yet to meet. Back at the hotel Jessica and Hoyt decide to sleep together. In Bon Temps, Sam manages to escape, courtesy of a drunken Andy Bellefleur. Any plans he may have had for getting even with Daphne are overtaken by Maryann who has her own plans for her acolyte. The rest of the revelers have no memory of what happened the night before.
08 2x08 "Timebomb" August 9, 2009
Having saved Sookie, Godric orders Eric to leave the premises with her - and to do so peacefully. Unfortunately, Steve Newlin and his followers are waiting for them in the Church and he isn't too choosy as to which vampire they use for their sunrise ceremony. Godric tries a different approach and hopes to make peace with Steve, who adamantly opposes any such possibility. Safely returned to their lair, Godric's peaceful approach and lack of desire for revenge doesn't sit well with some of his followers. Steve also has a surprise for him. In Bon Temps, Eggs tells Tara that he's blacked out again and they try to piece together where he's been. Maryann prepares a special dish for them. Sam Merlotte finds himself under arrest when Daphne's body is found in the restaurant freezer. Having finally slept together, Jessica and Hoyt discover a disadvantage to Jessica being a vampire.
09 GodricMeetsSun1 "I Will Rise Up" August 16, 2009
Vampires and humans clean up in the aftermath of the explosion. Eric tricks Sookie into drinking some of his blood, much to Bill's dismay. As a result of the lapse in security, Godric's leadership falls under review but his response surprises everyone, especially Eric, who begs him not to go through with his plan. In Bon Temps, Maryann is out to find Sam Merlotte and complete the ritual sacrifice. She casts a spell on everyone in Sam's bar to get them to look for him. Lafayette and Tara's mother forcibly remove her from Sookie's house. Hoyt and Jessica get used to their situation and Hoyt decides it's time to introduce his true love to his vampire-hating mother.
10 WorldinmyViewCover "New World in My View" August 23, 2009
Sookie, Bill and Jason return to Bon Temps to find the town in chaos. They return to Bill's house to find Hoyt and Jessica tending to Maxine, who is under the effects of Maryanne's power. Sam and Andy are tricked to coming to Merlotte's where the townsfolk trap them in a walk-in fridge. Jason goes to help Sam, and tricks the townsfolk into thinking he is the god they worship, and pretends to smite Sam who turns into a fly with his clothes on seemingly vanishing. Meanwhile, Bill and Sookie go to Sookie's house to find Maryann, who attacks Sookie. Sookie learns that Maryanne is the creature who attacked her in the woods. Bill attempts to bite Maryanne but finds her blood is toxic to him. Maryann seems intrigued with Sookie, who puts her hand off to push Maryanne away, and finds that a burst of light shines from her hand. Sookie and Bill go to Lafayette's and see Tara is still under Maryann's spell. Together, Bill and Sookie use a combination of Glamors and Telepathy to break the spell over Tara, and they learn that Maryann is a Maenad. Jessica, driven into a rage by Maxine's taunting, feeds on her. Bill goes to seek the vampire Queen of Louisiana, the one person who might know how to destroy Maryanne, but when he arrives he finds a bloody foot dangling from the throne
11 2x11 "Frenzy" August 30, 2009
With the crisis in Bon Temps careening out of control, Bill seeks out the advice of Sophie-Anne, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, but must exercise patience before she gives him critical information. Meanwhile, Sookie and Lafayette find that protecting Tara from herself is more difficult than they anticipated; a desperate Sam turns to an unlikely source for assistance; and Hoyt’s allegiance to Maxine is put to the test by Jessica.
12 2x12 "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" September 13, 2009
The mayhem in Bon Temps reaches a fever pitch as Maryann prepares for her ultimate bestial sacrifice, conscripting Sookie to be Maid of Honor at the bloody nuptials. Meanwhile, Sophie-Anne warns Eric to keep the lid on Bill's inquisitiveness; Jason leads Andy into the heroic abyss; and Hoyt has a hard time swallowing Maxine's endless stream of insults. Deliberating on what may be his final move to save Sookie and the town, Sam is forced to put his trust, and his life, in a most unlikely ally; Eric.
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# Image Title Airdate
01 3x01pic "Bad Blood" June 13, 2010
Sookie enlists the help of Eric in her search for the missing Bill. Sam begins his search for his birth parents. Tara falls into despair following Eggs's death and attempts suicide. Lafayette invites Tara's mother to help watch over her while Jason and Andy work to cover up the truth regarding their role in Eggs's death. Jessica attempts to take back what she has done. Eric is paid a surprise visit by the Vampire Queen. Bill frees himself from his captors but finds himself a long way from Bon Temps in Mississippi and in unfriendly territory.
02 TruebloodSookEricSeason4 "Beautifully Broken" June 20, 2010
Sam Merlotte gets to know his shifter birth family in Arkansas. Bill is an unwilling guest at the home of the King of Mississippi, who has ambitions to take over Louisiana. Jessica seeks advice from Pam on feeding off humans and on the disposal of bodies. Lafayette and Tara visit Lafayette's mother in a psychiatric institution. Eric arrives at Sookie's home to protect her from werewolves.
03 BillItHurtsMeToo "It Hurts Me Too" June 27, 2010
In search of Bill, Sookie heads to Jackson, Mississippi in the company of Alcide, a werewolf bodyguard assigned by Eric to protect her. Jason is distracted from his police exams; Bud reaches the end of his rope; Arlene copes with unexpected news; Franklin charms Tara, and gets Jessica out of a jam; Eric bequeaths a gift to Lafayette. Haunted by visions from his past, Bill makes a surprising pledge of allegiance.
04 9crimes "9 Crimes" July 11, 2010
Sookie joins Alcide at a rowdy engagement party for his former fiancée, Debbie Pelt; Eric is given a deadline to locate Bill; Andy gets a promotion and draws Jason’s attention; Franklin takes Tara on a road trip; Arlene is annoyed by Jessica’s arrival at Merlotte’s; Sam makes a deal with Tommy and his parents; Bill “procures” dinner for Russell and Lorena.
05 Trouble "Trouble" July 18, 2010
Alcide and Sookie turn to an alpha-wolf “packmaster” for advice on dealing with Russellʼs minions; Tara considers a proposal from Franklin, whoʼs completed his mission for Russell; Joe Lee breaks his promise to Sam and Tommy; Lafayette learns the meaning of patience from Jesus, his motherʼs orderly; Jason meets his match in the mysterious girl Crystal; an heirloom reminds Eric of his past and his ongoing thirst for vengeance.
06 I-got-a-right-to-sing-the-blues "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues" July 25, 2010
Spurned by Eric, Sookie fears the worst for Bill, whose fate now lies in Lorenaʼs hands; fueled by a night of bloody passion, Tara executes a desperate plan to stave off Franklinʼs advances; in Bon Temps, Tommy finds it difficult to leave the family nest; Jessica puts Pamʼs teachings into practice; Jasonʼs romance with Crystal hits a snag, as does Lafayetteʼs with Jesus; after revealing his master plan to Eric, Russell visits Louisiana to put it into action.
07 Hittingtheground "Hitting the Ground" August 1, 2010
Imperiled by Lorena, Sookie goes to extremes in her attempt to save Bill – with unforeseen consequences. Sam infiltrates a dogfighting ring to extricate Tommy from his parents’ greedy influence. Jason heads to jail to uncover the truth about Crystal; Summer makes a home-cooked play for Hoyt’s affections; Debbie vows revenge on Alcide; Eric uses Hadley as bait to get information from Sophie-Anne; Russell turns his back on the Authority, and on the Magister.
08 Tb-03 08-ss "Night on the Sun" August 8, 2010
Shaken and disillusioned, Sookie rethinks her relationship with Bill. Sophie-Anne takes up a new residence as Russell plots his next move. Jessica and Bill reconcile; Jason throws down the gauntlet in hopes of saving Crystal; Lafayette gets a surprise visit from his mom, Ruby Jean; Sam tries to keep Tommy in check; Merlotte’s gets a new waitress; Eric proves the depth of his allegiance to Russell. Sookie finds herself in a vulnerable position when Alcide needs to deal with a family emergency.
09 S03e09-ss1 "Everything Is Broken" August 15, 2010
With the ratification of the Vampire Rights Amendment at hand, Nan Flanagan detours to Fangtasia to confront Eric about the Magister’s disappearance. A grief-stricken Russell vows revenge against his foes, vampire and human. Awaking from a slumber, Bill uncovers the truth about Sookie’s true identity. Jason gets unexpected help as he goes up against Felton (James Harvey Ward) and Calvin. Sam is distressed by Tommy’s attitude; Tara encounters a new ally and an old tormentor; Hadley introduces Sookie to a new family member; Arlene despairs about her future; Hoyt confronts his true feelings.
10 ISmellARat1 "I Smell a Rat" August 22, 2010
A reluctant Bill warns Sookie about the dangers she will face. Jesus is intrigued by the mysterious qualities of V. Sam’s recent fit of rage triggers dark memories. Eric takes precautions and fulfills a wish; Arlene turns to Holly for help with a pressing problem; Jason deals with the unexpected, both with Tara and Crystal; Jessica is torn between Tommy and Hoyt. After communing with Talbot, Russell promises to extract vengeance on his enemies.
11

FreshBloodMain

"Fresh Blood" August 29, 2010
Bill tries to earn back Sookie’s trust, but ends up bringing her face-to-face with fresh dangers. Knowing he’s no physical match for the King, Eric tempts Russell with the “ultimate vampire dream.” Jason tries to wrap his head around Crystal’s revelation. Sam embraces his dark side, alienating everyone except Tara. Hoyt and Jessica take their romance to the next level; with Holly’s help, Arlene puts her future in the hands of a goddess; post V-trip, Lafayette struggles with new demons.
12 TrueBlood3x12 "Evil is Going On" September 12, 2010
Eric grapples with his conscience while plotting his perfect revenge against Russell. Fed up with being "vampire crack," Sookie considers a new life without Bill – or any other vampire. Tara discovers some surprising news about Sam, whose rage resurfaces upon learning of Tommy's latest transgression. Jason finds a new calling after warning Crystal's family about an impending drug raid. Plagued by visions, Lafayette turns to Jesus for help, and learns his boyfriend has more to offer than companionship. Hoyt hopes for a future with Jessica, spurning Maxine's pleas to wed Summer.
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# Image Title Airdate
01 CovenLafayette "She's Not There" June 26, 2011
Sookie journeys away from Bon Temps, Eric and Bill try to win back the human public, Jason learns that no good deed goes unpunished, Tara finds refuge in close quarters, Sam bonds with his own, Hoyt and Jessica debate the dinner menu, Jesus urges Lafayette to join a coven, and Terry tries to alleviate Arlene's fears about the baby.
02 SmelllikeDinnerMainInfobox "You Smell Like Dinner" July 3, 2011
Sookie adjusts to Bon Temps' new realities, Bill reveals pieces of his past, Eric crashes a witches' meeting, Jason gets his wounds licked, Andy struggles with his addiction, Sam learns of Luna's special talents, Jessica satisfies her blood cravings, and Arlene witnesses strange behavior from her family.
03 JASONLovemeWhyDyin "If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?" July 10, 2011
Sookie makes a deal with Eric and reconnects with Alcide; Bill punishes an errant vampire and counsels a guilt-ridden Jessica; Jason is cast as a reluctant savior; Tommy eyes a scam and alienates Sam; Marnie flexes her newfound powers; Pam delivers an ultimatum to Lafayette, Tara and Jesus; Eric spoils Sookie's faerie reunion.
04 ImAliveFirePAMmain "I'm Alive and on Fire" July 17, 2011
Alcide helps Sookie hunt for Eric; Marnie searches for guidance to break a spell; Bill discovers a common bond with the Bellefleurs; Jason begs for liberation from Hotshot; Sam penetrates Luna's inner circle; Arlene sees the writing on the wall; Tommy returns to his roots.
05 MeandDevilEp1 "Me and the Devil" July 24, 2011
Sookie nurtures Eric; Bill gets involved personally in the necromancy crisis; Pam takes the veil; Sam becomes Tommy's accomplice; Arlene and Terry look to religion to solve their problem; Jesus and Lafayette head to Mexico to harness a shaman's power; Jason convalesces.
06 WishWasMoonPIC "I Wish I Was the Moon" July 31, 2011
Sookie searches for Jason under a full moon; Marnie connects with spirits of the past; Arlene and Terry cope with a suspicious inferno; Debbie urges Alcide to join a new werewolf community; Tommy trades places with Sam; Lafayette feels the spirit in Mexico; Eric surrenders to his King's will.
07 ColdGreyLightDawnMain "Cold Grey Light of Dawn" August 7, 2011
With Marnie empowered by spirits of the dead, Bill issues an unpopular order to save vampires from the light. Eric embraces his amnesia; Luna discovers Sam is not the man she thought he was; Lafayette expands his consciousness; Pam gets a body peel; Andy's date with Holly doesn't go as planned; Jessica has doubts about her future with Hoyt; Alcide and Debbie join a new pack.
08 SpellBoundMainCast "Spellbound" August 14, 2011
As Bill and Marnie brace for a dangerous midnight faceoff, Sookie and Eric pledge their allegiance to the King. Jason is torn between friendship and passion, and Jessica is spurned from two homes; Lafayette becomes the pawn of a tormented spirit; Tommy takes a walk in someone else's shoes; Sam contends with yet another adversary in Marcus, Luna's ex and the leader of Alcide's new pack.
09 NanJessRUN "Let's Get Out of Here" August 21, 2011
Convalescing after her latest near-death trauma, Sookie envisions a world where there’s room for both Bill and Eric. Jesus tries to purge the restless spirit out of Lafayette; Marcus enlists Alcide to help him deal with the Sam situation; Bill and Nan Flanagan clash over their respective agendas; Hoyt asks Jason to make a delivery to Jessica. Despite Tara and Holly’s misgivings, Marnie plots her next move against the vampires, during a “Festival of Tolerance” event at Shreveport.
10 Season4Burningdownthehouse "Burning Down the House" August 28, 2011
As all hell breaks loose in Shreveport, Sookie summons her most potent powers yet to save Bill, in the process breaking a spell and leading Marnie/Antonia to re-evaluate her mission. Jason urges Jessica to glamour him for Hoyt's sake; Terry drags Andy to "Fort Bellefleur" for an intervention; Alcide reconsiders his allegiances after Marcus fight with Tommy; Jesus, accompanied by Sookie, Lafayette and Jason, tries to breach the Moongoddess Emporium's defenses to liberate Tara and Holly, while Bill leads a brigade of vampires committed to blowing the place to kingdom come.
11 PamSeason4SoulofFire "Soul of Fire" September 4, 2011
As the Wiccan-vampire standoff reaches a critical juncture, Sookie summons her faerie powers to prevent Marnie from bewitching Bill, Eric and Pam into a suicide march, while Jesus casts a secret spell designed to un-bind Antonia and break the witch’s deadly defenses. Sam settles a score with Marcus; Alcide confronts Debbie about her allegiances; Andy finds unexpected passion in the forest; Lafayette is consumed by the past.
12 BillEricStakeBurningSeason4 "And When I Die" September 11, 2011
It’s Samhain, Wicca’s greatest holy day, and spirits of the dead surface in Bon Temps, giving Sookie some valuable allies to combat Marnie’s newest incarnation. Lafayette’s latest medium encounter imperils his relationship with Jesus; Jason finds confession good for the soul, but not the body; Alcide makes a heartfelt appeal to the woman he loves; Terry receives an unexpected visitor at Merlotte’s; Sam and Luna envision a storybook ending, for once; Nan wears out her welcome with Bill and Eric. As Season Four comes to a shattering conclusion, Debbie confronts Sookie and Tara with deadly consequences, and the denizens of Bon Temps brace for a new crisis with a familiar face.
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# Image Title Airdate
01 TurnTurnTurnInfobox1 "Turn! Turn! Turn!" June 10, 2012
Sookie and Lafayette clean up the Tara and Debbie Pelt mess; Bill and Eric are visited by the Vampire Authority; Sam and Alcide deal with an angry werewolf pack.
02 Roman and Salome "Authority Always Wins" June 17, 2012
Tara resurfaces in Bon Temps; Pam recalls her human life and first encounter with Eric; Bill and Eric meet Salome at the Vampire Authority headquarters
03 Vampire Tara 5x3 "Whatever I Am, You Made Me" June 24, 2012
Bill and Eric barter for their lives with Roman, the head of the Authority; Jason reunites with his old high school teacher; Sookie searches for Tara.
04 Eric Pam We'll Meet Again "We’ll Meet Again" July 1, 2012
Eric and Bill fear for their lives; Lafayette puts Sookie’s life in danger; Roman and Salome root out a Council traitor.
05 Boot Rally Main "Let's Boot and Rally" July 8, 2012
Bill and Eric turn to Sookie for help with Russell’s whereabouts; Jason has a disturbing dream.
06 S05E06 Hopeless "Hopeless" July 15, 2012
Bill and Eric are retrieved by the Authority; Roman lays out his plans for Russell.
07 Russell Karoke "In the Beginning" July 22, 2012
Salome reveals her true allegiances; Sookie embraces her human side; Sam sniffs out some perps; Alcide braces for a fight.
08 Bill somebody that I use to know "Somebody That I Used to Know" July 29, 2012
The Authority revels in a new direction; Sookie and Jason visit the site of their parents’ deaths; Luna gets stuck on Sam.
09 Russell1Season 5 "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" August 5, 2012
Salome and the Chancellors celebrate the start of the vampire holy war. Sookie gets a hint about her parents' murder but anti-supernatural enthusiasts put her in danger. Eric plans his escape. Andy and Jason are out looking for leads behind the shifter killings. Alcide remembers how he was initiated into his pack. Arlene is trapped between Terry and Patrick's clash. Steve gets a new pet.
10 Godric meets the True Death... again "Gone, Gone, Gone" August 12, 2012
With vampire-on-human attacks increasing, the Authority attempts to woo public favor. Meanwhile, Nora tries to convert Eric to Lilith's gospel. Jason finds a mysterious scroll; Elijah, the new vampire sheriff of Area 5, pushes Pam and Tara to obey a new mandate; Sam and Luna search for Emma; Russell seeks a higher calling.
11 Dead Faerie Main infobox "Sunset" August 19, 2012
Slipping further into religious fervor, Bill (Stephen Moyer) gives Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) an order she's loath to carry out. Armed with a damning video of Russell (Denis O'Hare) and Steve (Michael McMillian), the military delivers an ultimatum to the Authority. Claude (Giles Matthey) and Maurella (Kristina Anapau) take Sookie (Anna Paquin) to meet the faerie elder, who may know something about an ancient family secret. Alcide (Joe Manganiello) reconnects with his father; Sam (Sam Trammell) and Luna (Janina Gavankar) hitch a ride into the Authority
12 Eric Season 5 Finale "Save Yourself" August 26, 2012
Eric embarks on a final, desperate mission to overthrow the Authority – and save Bill from losing his humanity. Andy faces the consequences of the light pact he made; Alcide readies for a second showdown with J.D.; Sam and Luna test their limits in trying to escape the Authority. The Fay try to prevent Russell Edgington from entering their sanctuary.

Awards and nominations

Year Group Award Result For
2008 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Won Nelsan Ellis
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Series, Drama Won Anna Paquin
2009 American Cinema Editors Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Com Television Won Michael Ruscio and Andy Keir for episode "Strange Love"
Art Directors Guild Episode of a One Hour Single-Camera Television Series Nominated Suzuki Ingerslev for episode "Burning House of Love"
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama Won Anna Paquin
Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series - Drama Nominated
Mr. Skin Award Best TV Show Won
Mr. Skin Award Best First-Time Nude Scene Won Lizzy Caplan
Motion Picture Sound Editors Best Sound Editing - Short Form Dialogue and ADR in Television Nominated For episode "Fourth Man in the Fire"
Writers Guild of America New Series Nominated Alan Ball, Brian Buckner, Raelle Tucker, Alexander Woo, Nancy Oliver, and Chris Offutt
Saturn Award Best Syndicated/Cable TV Series Nominated
Saturn Award Best Actress on Television Nominated Anna Paquin
NewNowNext Awards Best Show You're Not Watching Won
NewNowNext Awards Brink of Fame: Actor Won Nelsan Ellis
Broadcast Music Incorporated True Blood Original Score Won Nathan Barr
Broadcast Music Incorporated True Blood Theme Song Won Jace Everett
Television Critics Association Outstanding New Program of the Year Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star: Female Nominated Anna Paquin in True Blood
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star: Male Nominated Stephen Moyer in True Blood
Bravo A-List Awards A-List TV Show Nominated
Bravo A-List Awards Sexiest TV Moment Nominated Bill and Sookie's Love Scene
Emmy Outstanding Main Title Design Nominated Rama Allen, Shawn Fedorchuk, Matthew Mulder, Morgan Henry, Camm Rowland and Ryan Gagnier
Emmy Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Nominated Junie Lowry Johnson & Libby Goldstein
Emmy Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series Nominated Suzuki Ingerslev, Cat Smith & Rusty Lipscomb for "Burning House of Love", "Cold Ground" and "Sparks Fly Out".

DVD and Blu-ray releases

DVD Name Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
True Blood - The Complete First Season May 19, 2009 October 26, 2009 July 1, 2009
True Blood - Season 2

As of July 7, 2009, the first season DVD had sold almost 1.2 million units and was one of the best-selling TV show DVD for 2009. By the end of July, it ranked #15 in all DVD sales.

True Blood: The Complete First Season
Set Details Special Features
  • 12 Episodes
  • 5 Disc Set
  • 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles:English
  • English
  • In Focus: Vampires in America
  • Tru Blood Beverage Ads
  • Vampire PSAs.
  • Audio Commentaries on:
    • Strange Love by writer/director Alan Ball
    • The First Taste by director Scott Winant and star Anna Paquin
    • Escape from Dragon House by director Michael Lehmann and writer Brian Buckner
    • Sparks Fly Out by director Daniel Minahan and star Stephen Moyer
    • Burning House of Love by director Marcos Siega
    • To Love Is to Bury by writer/director Nancy Oliver

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