Jonathan Storm: Take your best shot, says Sookie

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"Entourage" actors Adrian Grenier (left), Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon at the television critics' summer press tour Thursday. It was their last appearance together as a TV cast.

Inquirer television critic Jonathan Storm is reporting from the television critics' press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. These items are taken from his blog, "Eye of the Storm," at www.philly.com/eyeofthestorm.

Poor Sookie Stackhouse, that cute little thing. Not only does she have to deal with plain old vampires, but werewolves and werepanthers get thrown at her, along with shape-shifters and now wacko witches, too, not to mention the shall-we-say "eccentric" human residents of her Louisiana neighborhood.

Is it fair, Anna Paquin, that your boss, Alan Ball, keeps putting all this trouble in your path?

"Is it fair?" Paquin responded at the HBO session for her popular True Blood show Thursday. "I'm having the best time of my life. Are you kidding me? And I'm not just a little thing, thank you very much! I can hold my own."

Oh, sorry.

"I dare him to come up with something I say no to."

Everybody's alit, apparently. "I'm having more fun than I've ever had in my life," said executive producer Ball, who foresees True Blood weaving its scary, sexy spell for many more seasons. He denied he split up Sookie and her once true-love vampire buddy Bill Compton after Paquin and Stephen Moyer, who plays Compton, became an item. The couple married last August.

The relationship "has never impacted the show in any way other than positive," Ball said. "But you know I am working from source material." (The show is based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris.) "I knew they split up in the book, and that's probably why we did it."

Ball isn't a slave to the source material. Take Lafayette Reynolds, played by Nelsan Ellis, a hash-slinging, drug-dealing, trash-talking queen who now turns out to be a witch, too. "Lafayette's a great example," Ball said, "because he gets killed in the books. . . . After the first season of working with Nelsan, I just went, 'There's no way we can kill this character.' "

Speaking of killing characters, the entire ensemble of Entourage appeared together as a TV cast for the last time Thursday, drawing a hearty round of congratulations from HBO programming president Michael Lombardo.

"We're all choked up," said Adrian Grenier, who plays Vince. "Truthfully. We've been together for eight years. . . . The last day [of shooting]was like the last day of high school. We all had senioritis. It was really hard to get anybody focused."

"The last day was like trying to act in the middle of a riot," said Jeremy Piven, who plays agent Ari Gold. "It was like we were at a set visit. We were like a ride at Universal."

All is not lost, however. Executive producers Doug Ellin and Mark Wahlberg said they saw an Entourage feature film in the not-too-distant future.

AMC chief defends enigma of "The Killing." Oh, they're still complaining that nobody knows who killed Rosie. So if I hadn't asked the AMC senior VP of original programming about the unresolved season finale of The Killing, somebody else would have. AMC loves the show. They're sorry if viewers were momentarily disappointed. They promise to reveal the killer next year.

"We hear you," said Joel Stillerman. "We certainly would have taken a different approach with respect to managing expectations." Like maybe not using "Who Killed Rosie Larsen?" scrawled across the lead poster for the show. But Stillerman said the network was still proud of the series and hoped to continue it for several seasons.

"We never intentionally meant to mislead anybody," he said. "Our goal was to create a brilliant piece of character-based storytelling, mixed with a genre we all love, the murder mystery. We think we got there, but didn't manage expectations."