12. True Blood (HBO)
Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten, Joe Manganiello, Kristin Bauer, Deborah Ann Woll, Chris Bauer, Jim Parrack, Carrie Preston, Todd Lowe, Christopher Meloni, Denis O'Hare
Premiere Date: June 16
Can True Blood regain its original magic? That's the question hovering over the sex-crazed and campy HBO series' upcoming sixth season, which, coming off of last year's sloppily paced and altogether underwhelming season, is a crucial one.
Story wise, the promo trailers suggest that True Blood's human race is about to wage war on the "fangers" of Bon Temps, hopefully meaning that the unnecessary subplots involving Alcide's (Joe Manganiello) wolfpack drama and war veteran Terry's (Todd Lowe) battlefield demons have been jettisoned. Probably not, but one can hope.
Behind the scenes, True Blood has undergone some major changes. This will be the first year without Alan Ball as showrunner, now that he's migrated over to Cinemax for Banshee. Also, the usual 12-episode duration has been truncated to 10, due to star Anna Paquin's pregnancy. Season 6, at the very least, will be leaner—let's just hope that it's also cleaner. —MB