Vampire drama back for a fifth season

HBO, sticking with its vampires and werewolves, has renewed “True Blood” for a 12-episode fifth season.

Series remains one of the pay cabler’s biggest hits, along with fantasy drama “Game of Thrones.”

“I remain amazed and delighted by the enthusiasm of our viewers,” creator Alan Ball said. “I can’t imagine having more fun than this.”

Ball exec produces with Gregg Fienberg. Show is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. Ball is also on tap to exec produce new Cinemax series “Banshee,” about life in a Amish town where an ex-con will act as the town’s sheriff.

Cinemax, which is owned by HBO, has been looking to expand its original programming slate. Net launches new skein “Strike Back” tonight.

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