Vampires, sex make 'Blood' a hit
Based on the series of Sookie Stackhouse novels written by Charlaine Harris and starring Anna Paquin in the lead character's role, "True Blood" has grown its Sunday night viewership by 66 percent since its debut in September.
The first season finale airs this Sunday, with a second season already in production.
"True Blood" casually imagines a world where vampires, telepathic women and "shape shifters" -- people who can assume the shapes of animals -- are a part of everyday life in a small Louisiana town. A steamy romance between Paquin's waitress and Bill the brooding vampire, portrayed by Stephen Moyer, stands at the show's center.
The HBO series also benefits from proximity to this week's much-anticipated release of the "Twilight" movie, another spooky drama about a girl and the vampire who loves her. Another parallel: "Twilight" is also based on a literary series. (HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Time Warner.)