True blood is based on the southern vampire mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, and details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional small Louisiana town. The series centers on Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress at a bar, who falls in love with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer True Blood employs a broad ensemble cast composed of regular, central characters and a rotating group of impermanent supporting characters. Though the series is based in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, a noticeable number of the actors comprising the cast are originally from outside the United States.
In an interview, Ball explained that he didn't intentionally seek out "non-American" actors, but was willing to go anywhere he needed to in order "to find the actor who makes the character breathe. " Ball went on to explain that, in casting, there was more of a focus on who would portray the character in a compelling way rather than who would physically resemble the characters from the book. Noting that there's a definite difference between the characters portrayed in True Blood and the ones depicted in The Southern Vampire Mysteries, he described Harris as being very understanding in terms of how her work was being reinterpreted.
The major plot of the first season revolves around the murder of several women connected to Sookie's older brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten). ). Though the viewer is always aware of his innocence in their deaths, Detective Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) targets him as the prime suspect in the investigation he conducts with Sheriff Bud Dearborne (William Sanderson) to identify their killer. Jason's best friends and co-workers, Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack) and Rene Lenier (Michael Raymond-James) provide him with support despite the turmoil he encounters. Rene, who becomes engaged to Merlotte's waitress Arlene Fowler (Carrie Preston), is eventually revealed to not be what he seems. Ultimately he's exposed as the actual Bon Temps murderer and is killed in a final confrontation with Sookie.