True Blood’s final episode will air in the summer of 2014 with the culmination of the hit HBO fantasy series’ seventh season.

The end of True Blood, which stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard, was announced by HBO on Tuesday. "True Blood has been nothing short of a defining show for HBO," president of HBO programming Michael Lombardo said in a statement. "Alan Ball took the books by Charlaine Harris, assembled a brilliant cast led by the magnificent Anna Paquin in the role of Sookie Stackhouse and crafted a show that has taken its many devoted fans on an unforgettable journey."

True Blood’s final ten episodes won’t disappoint, promises the series’ executive producer Brian Buckner. “As we take a final walk through Bon Temps together, we will do our very best to bring Sookie’s story to a close with heart, imagination and, of course, fun," he said.

True Blood is following in the footsteps of two other top drama series – Dexter and Breaking Bad – in announcing plans to wrap up the series far in advance. For the producers and writers, it gives them ample time to develop an evocative and satisfying end, while giving fans of the series a warning and building up their anticipation for the last hurrah.

The seventh and final season of True Blood will include 10 episodes and will begin airing next summer. Brucker revealed last month that next season’s “big bad” will be Hep V, and that overall it will be more character-driven than past seasons.

– Chelsea Regan

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