HBO has officially announced that True Blood will come to an end next year after seven seasons. In a press release, the network stated that the series has been "nothing short of a defining show for HBO," and they "look forward to what promises to be a fantastic final chapter of this incredible show."

True Blood began airing on HBO in 2008, and quickly began garnering a massive fanbase during its first and second season. Despite some shaky plotlines (I'm looking at you, werepanthers and witches...and the werewolves, let's be real), the series managed to consistently pull in some of HBO's highest numbers: Throughout its third and fourth seasons, it was pulling in over five million viewers every Sunday night during its first viewing, and about 10 million per episode over every platform—huge numbers for a pay cable network like HBO, rivaled only by Game of Thrones.

The show also thrust stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, and Alexander Skarsgard into the spotlight, and pretty much launched the career of Deborah Ann Woll

Current showrunner Brian Buckner—who took over after creator Alan Ball left the series—commented on the decision to end the series, saying:

"I feel enormously proud to have been a part of the TRUE BLOOD family since the very beginning...I guarantee that there’s not a more talented or harder-working cast and crew out there, and I’d like to extend a personal heartfelt thanks to them for their dedication and tenacity over the years, especially this past year, as I stepped into a larger role. Thank you also to HBO for their unwavering support and of course to Alan Ball, whose genius enabled all of us to share in this incredible journey. Finally, a huge thank you to the most passionate fans in television. 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."

Ball himself commented on the show's ending as well, saying "I’m deeply grateful to HBO for being true partners and collaborators, and, of course, to the viewers who chose to spend Sunday nights in Bon Temps with us."

The last season of True Blood will consist of ten episodes, and will premiere sometime in mid-2014.