The summer of 2013 on HBO is going to look very similar to the summer of 2012.
HBO has officially renewed "True Blood" for its sixth season and Aaron Sorkins' "The Newsroom" for its second season after only a few weeks of their current seasons. Of the two shows, "True Blood" is by far the bigger hit, with 6.3 million viewers tuning in for the fifth season premiere last month. However, "The Newsroom" opened solidly as 2.1 million viewers watched the first episode in its original broadcast last week.
"True Blood" showrunner Alan Ball will step down from his position following the conclusion of the fifth season. Earlier this year, "True Blood" co-executive producer Mark Hudis was named the new showrunner of the series from season six onwards. If "True Blood" maintains its tradition, the sixth season will be loosely based upon "Definitely Dead," the sixth book in Charlaine Harris's The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels which inspired the TV show.
As part of its main storytelling device, "The Newsroom" takes place two years in the past (2010) to explore real world news events like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It isn't clear if the second season of "The Newsroom" will still be set in 2010 or if the show will jump to 2011.
Episode totals for each show have yet to be announced, but 12 episodes for "True Blood" and 10 episodes for "The Newsroom" seems likely. If HBO decides to bring back both shows at the same time, they would return to the network early next summer.