Anna Paquin

True Blood will be back for a 12-episode fifth season, HBO announced Thursday.

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

True Blood's Alan Ball bringing new series to Cinemax

Based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, the Emmy-nominated show follows part-faerie waitress Sookie, played by Anna Paquin, and 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton, played by her real-life husband Stephen Moyer.

"I remain amazed and delighted by the enthusiasm of our viewers," Ball said. "I can't imagine having more fun than this."

Season 4 of True Blood, which ends Sept. 11, is airing on Sundays at 9/8c on HBO. The current season's premiere pulled 5.1 million viewers — 38 percent more than the Season 3 debut.