True Blood comes to a close this Sunday on HBO, and the premium channel blames a storytelling wall as the reason it’s ending.
HBO programming director Michael Lombardo spoke at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Thursday about several of the channel’s shows including True Detective and their long-running vampire drama. While True Blood is popular, he says, it’s not worth continuing from a storytelling perspective.
“This season, ‘True Blood’ is one of the highest-rated shows across the board; it gets over 10 million views an episode,” he said in comments shared by THR. “But the minute you feel you’re airing it for the numbers we start questioning it. Every season we sit down with the creator and say, ‘Tell us what the next year will be like.’ And if there aren’t exciting, unbelievable, undeniable ideas in the coming season, we’re questioning.
“And I think in the case of ‘True Blood,’ it just felt like we had reached a place where the storytelling was hitting a wall. And to stay just because the ratings were strong felt not who we are and we needed, quite honestly, the money and Sunday night space for new shows.”
In recent years, Sunday nights have become prime real estate for the best dramas on any given channel (AMC is another example of this). As Lombardo alludes to, HBO is ending several Sunday staples like True Blood, The Newsroom, and Boardwalk Empire because they realize they need a reboot of their Sunday night line up.
Many fans would agree with Lombardo that True Blood has run out of stories to tell. Recent seasons of the show starring Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer have felt lackluster. While the first half of season 7 felt strong, the second half has been less than stellar.
True Blood season 7, episode 10 titled, “Thank You,” airs this Sunday, August 24 at 9 p.m. eastern/pacific on HBO. Check out our series finale predictions!