In a somewhat expected turn, Deadline is reporting that American Beauty screenwriter and True Blood creator/showrunner Alan Ball will be stepping down as the showrunner after the fifth season, which premieres in June on HBO. Many have speculated that this would happen, especially with Ball’s involvement in the Cinemax (a subsidary of HBO) show Banshee along with other projects for the network, which he has an overall deal with.
HBO released the following statement:
“When we extended our multi-year 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. 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. This is the best possible world for both HBO and Alan Ball. Alan will remain available as executive producer to consult and advise on True Blood and he will be free to develop new shows for both HBO and Cinemax. Banshee, on which Alan serves as executive producer, is the first in house series for Cinemax and is expected to begin production this spring.”
So while he won’t be the boss of the show anymore, he’ll still have a bit of creative input as executive producer, and I’m sure he’ll still have interaction with the writer’s room, so fans don’t need to fear. Ball released a statement to supplement HBO‘s, here’s what he had to say:
“True Blood has been, and will continue to be, a highlight of not only my career but my life. 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.”
Kind of an obligatory statement, but we’ll see how the show progresses without him next year, if they continue with the show beyond a fifth season, which it seems they will. Meanwhile, Ball is starting Banshee, and we’ll see the results of that next year as well, most likely. It’s also possible we’ll see that show premiere this fall, so stay tuned for further details as we get them.