HBO has announced that Alan Ball will be stepping down as the showrunner of True Blood. Ball, who presided over the first five seasons of the hit vampire soap opera, will remain involved in the series as an executive producer, but will have time freed up to develop new shows for HBO and Cinemax. One show, Banshee, will begin production for Cinemax in the spring. It will be the network's first original drama.
"When we extended our overall deal with Alan Ball in July 2011, we always intended that if we proceeded to True Blood’s sixth season that Alan would take a supervisory role on the series and not be the day-to-day showrunner," HBO said in a statement. "If we proceed to season six, the show will remain in the very capable hands of the talented team of writers and producers who have been with the show for a number of years."
"True Blood has been, and will continue to be, a highlight of not only my career but my life," Ball said in a statement. "Because of the fantastic cast, writers, producers and crew, with whom I have been lucky enough to work these past five years, I know I could step back and the show will continue to thrive as I look forward to new and exciting ventures."