06/21/2010 04:22 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

'True Blood' RENEWED By HBO For Season 4

HBO has renewed vampire hit "True Blood" for a fourth season.

The show averaged 5.1 million total viewers for its Season 3 premiere last week, up 38% from its Season 2 premiere. It will return for a 12-episode fourth season.

"The new season of TRUE BLOOD is off to a terrific start, as enthusiasm for this unique show continues to build among both subscribers and critics," Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming, said in an announcement.

"This is the most fun I have ever had," show creator Alan Ball added.