Last year, HBO‘s vampire saga “True Blood” pulled off an Emmy coup that has eluded other fantasy series over the years: it earned a nomination for Best Drama for its second season. Can the series, which premieres its fourth season on June 26, return to the top race this year?
While Emmy likes to rubber-stamp old favorites, TV academy voters are ambivalent about this supernatural story of a telepathic waitress (Oscar-winner Anna Paquin) in love with a vampire (Stephen Moyer) Of last year’s six series nominees, it was the only one not to receive any bids for writing, directing, or acting. “True Blood” has won just one Emmy: Best Casting in 2009. How ironic that no member of its cast has yet been honored.
That could change this year. “True Blood” introduced Tony-winning character actor Denis O’Hare in a scenery-chewing performance as the deranged vampire king of Mississippi. And Evan Rachel Wood, also a contender this year for the miniseries “Mildred Pierce,” is back in the running for Best Guest Actress as the queen of Louisiana.
The biggest challenge for “True Blood” may be fending off two hot new fantasy rivals: AMC’s zombie thriller “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones,” which also airs on HBO. Those shows have the advantage of being this year’s buzzed-about new kids on the block and also being fresher in voters’ minds.
The Emmy-contending third season of “True Blood” aired last summer. Despite mixed reviews, it averaged 4.97 million viewers, making it HBO’s most watched series since “The Sopranos,” which won Best Drama twice (2004, 2007). Will that make the difference between a bid and a snub?