True Blood kicks off its 12-episode third season SUNDAY, JUNE 13 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by other new episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, the show takes place in the not-too-distant future, when vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source. The show follows the romance between waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people’s thoughts, and her boyfriend, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), who went missing at the end of season two last year, and is now the object of a frantic search. Alan Ball (creator of the Emmy®-winning HBO series “Six Feet Under”) created and executive produces the show, which is based on the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.
Other returning cast regulars on TRUE BLOOD include: Ryan Kwanten as Sookie’s trouble-prone brother Jason Stackhouse; Rutina Wesley as her in-mourning best friend Tara Thornton; Sam Trammell as Sookie’s shape-shifting boss Sam Merlotte; Nelsan Ellis as Tara’s sharp-tongued cousin Lafayette Reynolds; Chris Bauer as on-the-wagon detective Andy Bellefleur; Carrie Preston as Sookie’s fellow waitress Arlene Fowler; Todd Lowe as Terry Bellefleur; Jim Parrack as Hoyt Fortenberry; Alexander Skarsgård as vampire sheriff Eric Northman; Deborah Ann Woll as teen vamp Jessica Hamby; William Sanderson as Sheriff Bud Dearborne; Mariana Klaveno as Lorena Krasiki; and Kristin Bauer van Straten as Eric’s vampire sidekick Pam.
Joining the cast in season three are: Denis O’Hare as Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi; Joe Manganiello as Alcide, a benevolent werewolf assigned to help Sookie; Brit Morgan as Debbie Pelt, Alcide’s werewolf ex-girlfriend; Theo Alexander as Russell Edgington’s royal consort Talbot; Grant Bowler as Coot, a werewolf; Lauren Bowles as Holly, a new Merlotte’s waitress; Marshall Allman as Sam’s long-lost brother Tommy Mickens; J. Smith Cameron as Sam’s mother Melinda Mickens; Cooper Huckabee as Sam’s father Joe Lee Mickens; Alfre Woodard as Ruby Jean Reynolds, Lafayette’s mom; James Frain as Franklin Mott, a vampire with a hidden agenda; Kevin Alejandro as Jesus Velasquez, an orderly who connects with Lafayette; and Lindsay Pulsipher as Crystal Norris, a mysterious girl from out of town who shares an instant connection with Jason. Returning this season is Evan Rachel Wood as Sophie-Anne, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana.
Episode #25 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 1): “Pack of Wolves”
Debut: SUNDAY, JUNE 13 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Sookie (Anna Paquin) turns to Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) for help in finding Bill (Stephen Moyer); Andy (Chris Bauer) urges Jason (Ryan Kwanten) to stay the course; Sam (Sam Trammell) reconnects with his past; Tara (Rutina Wesley) seeks refuge from her grief.
Written by Brian Buckner; directed by Daniel Minahan.
Episode #26 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 2): “Beautifully Broken”
Debut: SUNDAY, JUNE 20 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare), the Vampire King of Mississippi, concocts a plan to consolidate his power; Eric remembers his past; Sam tests the strength of his family bonds; Tara finds an ally in shady vampire Franklin Mott (James Frain).
Written by Raelle Tucker; directed by Scott Winant.
Episode #27 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 3): “It Hurts Me Too”
Debut: SUNDAY, JUNE 27 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
In search of Bill, Sookie heads to Jackson, Miss. in the company of Alcide (Joe Manganiello), a werewolf bodyguard assigned by Eric to protect her. Jason is distracted from his police exams; Bud (William Sanderson) reaches the end of his rope; Arlene (Carrie Preston) copes with unexpected news; Franklin charms Tara, and gets Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) out of a jam; Eric bequeaths a gift to Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). Haunted by visions from his past, Bill (Stephen Moyer) makes a surprising pledge of allegiance.
Written by Alexander Woo; directed by Michael Lehmann.
Episode #28 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 4): “9 Crimes”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 11 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Sookie (Anna Paquin) joins Alcide (Joe Manganiello) at a raucous engagement party for Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan), his former fiancée; Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) is given a deadline to locate Bill (Stephen Moyer); Andy (Chris Bauer) gets a promotion and draws Jason’s (Ryan Kwanten) attention; Franklin (James Frain) takes Tara (Rutina Wesley) on a road trip; Arlene (Carrie Preston) is irked by Jessica’s (Deborah Ann Woll) arrival at Merlotte’s; Sam (Sam Trammell) brokers a deal with Tommy (Marshall Allman) and his parents, Melinda (J. Smith Cameron) and Joe Lee (Cooper Huckabee); Bill “procures” dinner for Russell (Denis O’Hare) and Lorena (Mariana Klaveno).
Written by Kate Barnow & Elisabeth R. Finch; directed by David Petrarca.
Episode #29 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 5): “Trouble”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 18 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Alcide and Sookie turn to an alpha-wolf “packmaster” for advice on dealing with Russell’s minions; Tara considers a proposal from Franklin, who’s completed his mission for Russell; Joe Lee breaks his promise to Sam and Tommy; Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) learns the meaning of patience from Jesus (Kevin Alejandro), his mother’s (Alfre Woodard) orderly; Jason meets his match in the mysterious girl Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher); an heirloom reminds Eric of his past and his ongoing thirst for vengeance.
Written by Nancy Oliver; directed by Scott Winant.
Episode #30 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 6): “I Got a Right to Sing the Blues”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 25 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Spurned by Eric, Sookie fears the worst for Bill, whose fate now lies in Lorena’s hands; fueled by a night of bloody passion, Tara executes a desperate plan to stave off Franklin’s advances; in Bon Temps, Tommy finds it difficult to leave the family nest; Jessica puts Pam’s teachings into practice; Jason’s romance with Crystal hits a snag, as does Lafayette’s with Jesus; after revealing his master plan to Eric, Russell visits Louisiana to put it into action.
Written by Alan Ball; directed by Michael Lehmann.
Episode #31 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 7): “Hitting the Ground”
Debut: SUNDAY, AUG. 1 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Imperiled by Lorena (Mariana Klaveno), Sookie (Anna Paquin) goes to extremes in her attempt to save Bill (Stephen Moyer) – with unforeseen consequences. Sam (Sam Trammell) infiltrates a dogfighting ring to extricate Tommy (Marshall Allman) from his parents’ (J. Smith Cameron, Cooper Huckabee) greedy influence. Jason (Ryan Kwanten) heads to jail to uncover the truth about Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher); Summer (Melissa Rauch) makes a home-cooked play for Hoyt’s (Jim Parrack) affections; Debbie (Brit Morgan) vows revenge on Alcide (Joe Manganiello); Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) uses Hadley (Lindsey Haun) as bait to get information from Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood); Russell (Denis O’Hare) turns his back on the Authority, and on the Magister (Zeljko Ivanek).
Written by Brian Buckner; directed by John Dahl.
Episode #32 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 8): “Night on the Sun”
Debut: SUNDAY, AUG. 8 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Shaken and disillusioned, Sookie rethinks her relationship with Bill. Sophie-Anne takes up a new residence as Russell plots his next move. Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Bill reconcile; Jason throws down the gauntlet in hopes of saving Crystal; Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) gets a surprise visit from his mom, Ruby Jean (Alfre Woodard); Sam tries to keep Tommy in check; Merlotte’s gets a new waitress; Eric proves the depth of his allegiance to Russell. Sookie finds herself in a vulnerable position when Alcide needs to deal with a family emergency.
Written by Raelle Tucker; directed by Lesli Linka Glatter.
Episode #33 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 9): “Everything Is Broken”
Debut: SUNDAY, AUG. 15 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
With the ratification of the Vampire Rights Amendment at hand, Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck) detours to Fangtasia to confront Eric about the Magister’s disappearance. A grief-stricken Russell vows revenge against his foes, vampire and human. Awaking from a slumber, Bill uncovers the truth about Sookie’s true identity. Jason gets unexpected help as he goes up against Felton (James Harvey Ward) and Calvin (Gregory Sporleder). Sam is distressed by Tommy’s attitude; Tara (Rutina Wesley) encounters a new ally and an old tormentor; Hadley introduces Sookie to a new family member; Arlene (Carrie Preston) despairs about her future; Hoyt confronts his true feelings.
Written by Alexander Woo; directed by Scott Winant.
Episode #34 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 10): “I Smell a Rat”
Debut: SUNDAY, AUG. 22 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
A reluctant Bill warns Sookie about the dangers she will face. Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) is intrigued by the mysterious qualities of V. Sam’s recent fit of rage triggers dark memories. Eric takes precautions and fulfills a wish; Arlene turns to Holly (Lauren Bowles) for help with a pressing problem; Jason deals with the unexpected, both with Tara and Crystal; Jessica is torn between Tommy and Hoyt. After communing with Talbot (Theo Alexander), Russell promises to extract vengeance on his enemies.
Written by Kate Barnow & Elisabeth R. Finch; directed by Michael Lehmann.
Episode #35 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 11): “Fresh Blood”
Debut: SUNDAY, AUG. 29 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Bill tries to earn back Sookie’s trust, but ends up bringing her face-to-face with fresh dangers. Knowing he’s no physical match for the King, Eric tempts Russell with the “ultimate vampire dream.” Jason tries to wrap his head around Crystal’s revelation. Sam embraces his dark side, alienating everyone except Tara. Hoyt and Jessica take their romance to the next level; with Holly’s help, Arlene puts her future in the hands of a goddess; post V-trip, Lafayette struggles with new demons
Written by Nancy Oliver; directed by Daniel Minahan.
Episode #36 (True Blood Season 3 Episode 12): “Evil Is Going On” (season finale)
Debut: SUNDAY, SEPT. 12 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) grapples with his conscience while plotting his perfect revenge against Russell (Denis O’Hare). Fed up with being “vampire crack,” Sookie (Anna Paquin) considers a new life without Bill (Stephen Moyer) – or any other vampire. Tara (Rutina Wesley) discovers some surprising news about Sam (Sam Trammell), whose rage resurfaces upon learning of Tommy’s (Marshall Allan) latest transgression. Jason (Ryan Kwanten) finds a new calling after warning Crystal’s (Lindsay Pulsipher) family about an impending drug raid. Plagued by visions, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) turns to Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) for help, and learns his boyfriend has more to offer than companionship. Hoyt (Jim Parrack) hopes for a future with Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), spurning Maxine’s (Dale Raoul) pleas to wed Summer (Melissa Rauch).
Written by Alan Ball; directed by Anthony Hemingway