Breaking: HBO Renews True Blood For Season 5

No surprise here: HBO has officially renewed True Blood for a 12-episode fifth season to bow next summer.

The news comes two weeks after Alan Ball inked a deal to stay on as showrunner through Season 5. “Everything ends, and there will be an end for me on this show at some point,” Ball told reporters last month at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “But I don’t have any desire to leave because I’m having more fun than I have in my entire life.”

Ball added that he’s already hard at work on the fifth season, which will “explore how one of the vampires was made,” as well as introduce new characters.

“I am thrilled that True Blood continues to enjoy a phenomenal reception from both subscribers and critics,” said HBO president Michael Lombardo in a statement. “Alan Ball and his gifted team have devised the greatest thrill ride on TV.”

True Blood‘s current fourth season concludes next month.