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By LAUREN ZIMA

Fans were out for blood — “True Blood,” that is — at Saturday night’s panel dedicated to HBO’s wildly popular fantasy series. Trueblood10_59

In night No. 2 of the William S. Paley Television Festival at the Saban Theatre, thesps Rutina Wesley and Sam Trammell told the packed crowd a story about fans who wanted a photo of themselves sucking the actors’ necks. Also spinning tales of fan-centric obsessions were Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten, Chris Bauer, Nelsan Ellis, Jim Parrack, Carrie Preston, Todd Lowe, Deborah Ann Woll, Kristin Bauer, Marshall Allman, Kevin Alejandro, Joe Manganiello and series creator Alan Ball.

It was clear from the high-pitched screams in the crowd, Skarsgard has become the ladies’ No. 1 heartthrob and merely opening his mouth was enough to send the femmes into spastic ecstasy.

And Moyer too, since the pilot, has made women swoon. He relayed one story about how men use his on-screen charm to their advantage.

He said: “Guys come up to me and say, ‘Will you speak to my wife on the phone as Bill? It’s going to get me so laid tonight.’”

Unfortunately, as open as the cast was with personal stories, the thesps weren’t all that revealing with plotlines for the upcoming fourth season. However, some details were given divulged.

Said Ball on the what he considers the theme of new season.

“I have told some people at HBO perhaps that the theme is man vs. nature,” he said. “The theme is to keep it entertaining.”

Ball confirmed that characters Tara and Pam will have an encounter, and Manganiello said not to discount his character’s former love, Debbie. True-blood-eric

“She’s still alive and at large,” he said.

Ellis implied that things could get even more intense for Lafayette’s relationship with Jesus Valesquez.

“He has me under his spell. He (Lafayette) has no choice but to trust him,” said the actor.

As for Sam’s chance at love, Trammell said: “Slim, looking at the record,” he said.

Similarly, there might be rocky times ahead for Jessica and Hoyt.
“The fairy tale can’t go on forever,” Woll explained, and then Ball ominously followed with, “I only let them (characters) be happy for one episode. After that it gets boring.”

Kwanten’s character, Jason, is notorious for making bad choices, and it doesn’t seem that habit will change even though he’s a newly appointed police officer in Bon Temps.

“He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed,” Kwanten said. “If anyone should not be wielding a gun and looking after a village of meth addicts, it’s Jason Stackhouse.”

Ball also revealed that there would be plenty more flashbacks this season.

“One of the great things about having characters that are hundreds of years old is that you can go back,” he said.

Skarsgard took the opportunity to make his wishes known: “I would love flashbacks with Eric, Pam and Godrick,” he said, and then Ball promised an “amazing flashback” early on. In addition, Ball said viewers would find out early in the season where Tara has gone.

A few guest stars were also revealed — both of the animal and human kind.

Gary Cole, who has appeared regularly in CBS’ “The Good Wife,” and Fiona Shaw will appear, as will an alligator and a rattlesnake. Ball also guaranteed the return of Dennis O’Hare, who played Russell Edgington.
 
“We specifically made the choice not to kill Russell,” he said. “There are definitely plans to bring him back, and he is going to be pissed.”

But the topic to elicited the most screams from the vampire-friendly crowd was that of Sookie and Eric.

As to whether they will get together, Skarsgard would only say, “For Eric, there are a lot of friendly people in Bon Temps.”

So, instead, would Sookie end up with Bill?

“I don’t think there’s an easy way back from the way he betrayed her,” Ball said, “but hopefully there will be 17 more seasons.”