03/29/2013 04:50 pm ET Updated Mar 29, 2013

'True Blood' Season 6 Premiere Date Set For June By HBO

"True Blood" Season 6 will premiere on June 16 at 9 p.m. ET, HBO announced Friday.

The network also announced that the first promo for "True Blood" Season 6 would debut before the premiere of "Game of Thrones" at 9 p.m. ET/PT on March 31, featuring new episodic footage from the upcoming season.

The 10-episode season continues the story of the part-faerie waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her many supernatural admirers, friends and enemies, including vampires Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), and werewolf Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello). "True Blood" is based on the numerous Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

The show has already had a tumultuous year, with creator Alan Ball stepping down after Season 5 to be replaced by Mark Hudis, who then abruptly exited midway through Season 6. Hudis was subsequently replaced by Brian Buckner, who remains at the helm.

"True Blood" is adding a number of new characters this year, including Jurnee Smollett-Bell as an activist called Nicole, and Rutger Hauer as a sinister figure called Macklyn.

Manganiello recently promised that this season would be "racier" than the last: "My character’s taken over the wolf pack, so as an alpha, and a pack of dogs, you gotta regulate, you gotta set it straight with everybody so there’s some violence. It’ll be fun ... This is Season 6 and the first couple scripts I read -– I think they’re doing a lot of stuff that they maybe held back on the past couple years. They’re pretty wild. I think it’s going to be a pretty wild season.”

"True Blood" returns Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

"True Blood" Season 5 Character Posters