According to Forbes (who knew they cared about cable TV? even if it is premium cable!), Alan Ball will step down as head of the True Blood writers room at some undefined point in time. No timeframe is given for this reduction in Alan’s True Blood workload, but as production gears up for his new Cinemax series, Banshee, it wouldn’t surprise me if he handed over the reins this season to focus on that project. Alan isn’t leaving the show, of course; he will remain as executive producer of True Blood.
Updated 02.27.12: HBO released a statement, as did Alan, explaining the details:
“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.”
“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.”
In other words, Alan will continue running True Blood through season 5, but won’t be as involved in season 6 (should there be a season 6). He’ll instead be focusing on new projects like Banshee. So, pretty much what we speculated to begin with.
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