Alan Ball to Reduce His True Blood Workload (UPDATED)

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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:

From HBO:

“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.”

From Alan:

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. 😉

What do you think about this news? Take our poll here.

Fan of the Southern Vampire Mysteries since 2001, and co-admin of since 2008. Team Sookie!


  1. Nothinbutjoy

    February 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I, of course, wish Alan Ball the best and while I do see he will remain executive producer, his stepping away from writing as much True Blood does not please me.

  2. Shikatsu

    February 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Could be a good or a bad thing. I love all things True Blood but the farther they get away from the books the more my interest has been waning. Hopefully with others being more involved to keep it going they’ll reign it in a bit. As it is doesn’t Alan Ball have a general record of how long he keeps shows running? Prolly unfortunately won’t see all the books come to life. =(

  3. Ryne'

    February 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    AB is awesome but I don’t think it matters the show is NOT exactly like the books if you read them…..

    • Shikatsu

      February 29, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Not exactly like the books no.. But the gist is usually there.. Season 4 pretty much is unrecognizeable other than it added witches like the book. Season 5 probably won’t have any common threads.

  4. Emily

    March 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I don’t think they even would need to follow the books if the show kept the awesome vibe of season 1 and 2, I really haven’t LOVED every inch of TB since the werewolves got involved like I used to…and Season 4…made me sad:( Since no one but the writers know who had what contributions, I can’t blame AB specifically, but someone in that writing room needs to take a look at when the show was AMAZING and revert. I’m still going to watch it, but it just isn’t my fave anymore. I wish Ball the best, he is very talented, but I’m not crazy about what has gone on with True Blood.