Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alan Ball to step down from True Blood

ArtsBeat reports: Alan Ball, the television producer and screenwriter who has helped imbue the supernatural drama True Blood with its sex-saturated bite, is preparing to say fangs for the memories to that hit HBO series. Get it, fangs for the memories?

Anyway, the cable network announced last night that Mr. Ball, who won an Academy Award for writing American Beauty and an Emmy for directing the pilot episode of his HBO series Six Feet Under, would not remain the show runner of True Blood for a possible sixth season.

HBO said in a statement that according to the terms of Mr. Ball’s overall deal with the network, the plan for a potential Season 6 of True Blood was always that “Alan would take a supervisory role on the series and not be the day-to-day show runner.” The network added: “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.”

There’s just one hitch: True Blood, which is adapted from Charlaine Harris’s best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels, has completed its fourth season and is preparing for its fifth; HBO has not officially announced a sixth season.

That the network would not renew the popular show – which often draws more than 5 million viewers for new episodes – seems unthinkable. But on a series where vampires make love to werewolves and men and women can turn into dogs and horses, well, stranger things have happened.

Mr. Ball is expected to continue developing new shows for HBO and Cinemax, and will serve as an executive producer on Banshee, a new Cinemax series about a criminal posing as a sheriff in a Pennsylvania town.

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