True Blood Radio 168: Is Alan Ball Leaving True Blood?

The big news this week involves rumors that Alan Ball is leaving True Blood. We give our take on the rumors, which were later confirmed by HBO, plus news on the True Blood season 4 DVD release date, Charlaine Harris to attend C2E2, True Blood from A to Z, and a bit of season 5 casting news.

Things We Talked About:

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Updated 02.29.12: What do you think about the news that Alan is reducing his role in the True Blood writers’ room? Take our poll here.

About Mel

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

47 comments

  1. Probably. He’s making Banshee now and I am not sure he did alot on TB season 4.

    • Elisha Q I think a lot of Eric fans were let down in their view point by Alan Ball last season ending and last couple of,episodes in particular…..I have never heard as much disappointment for seasons 1-3 combined as I hear and see on this site and others about that…a lot of unfocused storylines thy are too long

      • and drawn out without any conclusion coming…..maybe not enough focus on the main characters (Sookie/Eric/Bill) per episode….Alan Ball by.being in charge of the story board will.get most of the blame…..rightly or wrongly

        • I am Eric fan myself but Sookie deciding to be alone for a while was a good decision. I am thinking of watching season 4 again may be I will like it better when I watch the episodes without that one week inbetween.

          • well, no one complains of her being alone, that is what everyone was expecting, but sorry, they did throw bill into the mix again in a way that makes most people believe that AB is extremely obsessed with bill, sorry but refusing eric by saying oh i love bill too, and the whole love triangle stuff in the end, so many people were criticising this.

          • And so many more were not and will disagree with you, so…

          • Really, I don’t like Bill ever since he raped Sookie in the books, but most of the comments about Eric and Sookie I have read ( i don’t remember which sites I looked thru ) were like “Bring Bill back”, “I want Bill and Sookie together”. In the show Eric was deprived of a lot of the sweet little gestures he made for Sookie that say if not I love you – I care for you.

    • Elisha, I recommend watching the podcast, or at least clicking the link to the article above, so you get the full story. Alan has been in charge of day-to-day operations at True Blood since the beginning, including season 4.

      • Yes day to day with the writers is good and those guys worked all those years on the show, and I am sure he can text, but you got to admit that season 4 was really different and not in a good way. I wanted to see more about how Sookie and Eric fall in love, and Sookie being in the fae land, which for her was 10 minutes, and then falling in love so quickly was impossible – you don’t forget someone so quickly after you brake up. A lot of the stories were dead end. Tara and her girlfriend, Sam and Luna, Arlene’s baby from hell, Jason and Cristal – all stories a lot of people don’t care about. Oh and Marnie not really being evil, Bill having sex with his granddaughter and Eric remembering everything after the spell was uncast were the worst. Sorry – I am a passionate person and I was frustrated if not furious about all this. :)But I still remain optimistic about season 5 it felt like season 4 was transitional for the characters. Plase excuse me if was too harsh:)

        • You talk about dead end stories but forget that with True Blood, nothing is ever quite finished. In fact there was an explanation to a scene that took place in season one during the beginning of season 4! And regarding Arlene’s “baby from hell”, that was resolved and explained completely. Have you seen that episode yet? Not sure where you live.

          I will admit that season 4 was different, but for me it was in a good way. I already read the books and I know what happens. I WANT to be surprised! Otherwise I would not watch True Blood. It would bore me.

          • Sometimes I wish I never read the books, this season the show seemed dull and much ado about nothing. But as you say season 5 holds the answers to some of that and the most numerous villains, so I am filled wih excitement.
            Oh and yes I watched the whole season, and mixing “If I had a hammer” with book 4 was like taking a brake till they write something relevant or I just hate Arlene lol

        • I agree with you 100%. It was like the end of season 3 never happened. After sookie came from the fairy food court LOL, she was happy to see bill more than eric. Did I miss something that made this ok? It was not until she saw bill banging some other chick, that she got a bit mad and distant. But that didn’t matter either because she still said she loves him.

  2. Oooh, True-Blood.net t-shirts! Yes please!!

  3. I’m going to remain optimistic. Maybe with his backseat involvement we can get back to the source material. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the differences and the task of giving all the actors something where in the book they had nothing is hard. But last season other than adding witches doesn’t even resemble the Sookie books and unless Season 5 is just absolutely amazing I doubt I’ll continue. They need to get back to season 1-3 roots where they took some liberties but the spirit of each books story was there.

    • I would have loved to see the scene where Eric asks Sookie if they had sex while he was under the spell and she tell’s him that they did – everywhere and in every position he could imagine, and some she thought impossible – but he can’t remember anything and just stands there jaw dropped not able to make a decision how to react. Priceless book moment.

      • That’s another thing that really bugs me. (And no I’m not a Bill hater) One of the themes of the book is Sookie growing more confident and learning trial by error with her guys. Alan Ball has such a hard on for Bill Moyer he’s sacrificing one of the key story components by keeping Bill in the center. He’ll never allow her eventual relationship with Eric grow, or Quinn, and whoever she ultimately ends up with at the end. I could think a number of things he coulda done with Bill to keep him in the cast without making it a love triangle.

        • Who is Bill Moyer? A new character that we haven’t met? I know a Bill Compton and Stephen Moyer plays him, but I don’t know any Bill Moyer.

          Bill is not in the center of this show. Actually, I think the town of Bon Temps is the center of the show. The town and its people and what happened when they became aware that supernaturals exist there. Bill, Eric and Sookie are naturally the main focus because everything happens because of them. So if you want to talk about characters being at the center all the time, it would be all three of them.

          “He’ll never allow her eventual relationship with Eric grow, or Quinn, and whoever she ultimately ends up with at the end.” Really? Are you one of the writers of the show come to spy on us? LOL! There is no other way you could know what they are planning unless you are one of the team. And as for other things they could have done to keep Bill in the cast, they made him king! He had other duties and other things on his mind, other than Sookie.

          • A Song of Ice and Fire

            No, sorry. Bill & Sookie right now really are the stars of the show, eric too.

          • I stand by what I said.

          • A Song of Ice and Fire

            Alan Ball has said numerous times he wants sookie with bill.

          • You know full well who I went trying to put in a cute lil insult doesn’t help your case sorry. Alan ball has stated more than once HE wants Bill and Sookie together. And it’s a preference he’s made very apparently with the direction the show has gone in not letting Sookie hardly explore anything past Bill past the very short relationship with Eric.. That is FACT not opinion. I know you are a Bill shipper that’s cool and all. But shipping aside the stories are half about Sookie growing more confident and having relations with other guys not just Bill. Keeping Bill in the spotlight with Sookie is no going to allow that to happen.

          • No insult was intended. You interpreted my comment that way, just like you are choosing to interpret the storylines the way you are. As for Sookie not exploring anything past Bill, the whole season was about Sookie exploring a relationship with Eric, which actually began in the previous season. That is what is fact. I am not a shipper, and anyone who has been a regular reader on this site knows this. We have been and always will be, on Sookie’s team because she gets to be involved with all the hot guys. I’m all for that!

        • Oh come on, King Bill was a really nice change. He became more manly and when he killed Nan now that was a good moment. And I liked seeing the horny side of Sookie. Eric and Sookie will get back together eventually, so no worries.

          • King Bill itself was great and a good way to keep him as part of the show since in the books he just kinda fades away with small appearances here and there. The problem is they are still having him get involved with Sookies personal life that is the issue. I’m not a shipper of anyone I find it to be a waste of time. My complaint is Balls favortism to keeping Bill and Sook together and be damned with the rest of the source material. They could have easily made him king and let his story play out alongside Jessica for the most part or developed more story between him and Nan his being King in season 4 was to keep him in Sookies life.

          • I don’t see it that way. Last season we got the whole back story of how Nan and Bill first met and then how he was working to carry out her plans as passed down from The Authority. We had some great moments between Bill and Jessica and Bill spent a lot of the season trying to fight the witches. In fact, I think he acted pretty cold toward Sookie and pissed her off a lot. The fact that Bill was made king had nothing to do with Sookie and everything to do with vampire politics.

  4. A Song of Ice and Fire

    SUCH GOOD NEWS!!!

    SO happy, this was my favorite show its first 2 seasons, even the 3rd. but the fourth was missing something, it kept things too safe, and JASON NEVER BECAME A WEREPANTHER, i was devestated, his best book storyline was completly destroyed. Also, there were too many good book characters killed off early, claudine, sophie anne, great characters with lots of potential.

    Whoever takes over from this point, i also hope they put sookie with eric already, i knew that with alan ball it would never be that way! Then they could bring the show back to what it used to be for its first few seasons.

    • You do realize that Alan was in charge during those first few seasons you liked so much, right? And I don’t know, correct me if I’m wrong (and I watched the entire 4th season), but Sookie WAS with Eric already.

      • A Song of Ice and Fire

        Oops i posted this in the wrong spot, lets try this again..

        Yes i do realize that actually, at first i enjoyed the changes he made they improved the story but the 3rd season started going off and the 4th season wasnt terrible but he made a lot of mistakes! He built up scenarios and storylines (Jason & Crystal, the entire hot shot storyline) was all wasted

        But as for Eric & Sookie, yes they were together in season 4 and in my opinion it was one of the best parts of the season, but alan ball has said himself hes a sookie and bill fan, of course theyd end up together! not that i would care but thats just completly disrespecting Charlaine Harriss Novels in my opinion. The witches were probably the best part of the season, and marnies final episode was a major letdown also!

        • A Song of Ice and Fire

          Also, why would you think i did not know alan ball created the show and was in charge of the show, that is what this whole page is about isnt it?

          • Because of this: “Whoever takes over from this point, i also hope they put sookie with eric already, i knew that with alan ball it would never be that way! Then they could bring the show back to what it used to be for its first few seasons.” Perhaps you didn’t make yourself clear?

        • Alan is still a profesional and just because he likes Bill and Sookie as a couple doesn’t meen he’s going to get them back together, or at least I hope so.

          • Yeah I agree that Eric and Sookie probably will get back together eventually on the show ……Jason and the werepanther storyline I don’t think is over yet…..I am optimistic about some storylines coming to ahead hopefully …..

  5. A Song of Ice and Fire

    Yes i do realize that actually, at first i enjoyed the changes he made they improved the story but the 3rd season started going off and the 4th season wasnt terrible but he made a lot of mistakes! He built up scenarios and storylines (Jason & Crystal, the entire hot shot storyline) was all wasted

    But as for Eric & Sookie, yes they were together in season 4 and in my opinion it was one of the best parts of the season, but alan ball has said himself hes a sookie and bill fan, of course theyd end up together! not that i would care but thats just completly disrespecting Charlaine Harriss Novels in my opinion. The witches were probably the best part of the season, and marnies final episode was a major letdown also!

  6. Add me to the large fandome who is happy to hear the news.

    Even if you like Alan Ball, its rather obvious a large percentage of fans are happy he’s leaving. And to me that speaks volumes. I respect Alan Ball for his past work, but last year it became increasingly obvious that attention to detail and character development took a backseat in the place of cheap action trips (firewalls and puking witches and all.) If the writers get back to their roots of focusing on the actual characters and have them and their actions progress organically (yes I’m looking at you Sookie,) then TB will start to become again the great show it was.

    There was no passion in season 4 from the writers, and as a result the audience lost some as well. IF Alan being “tired” or maybe even bored of the show was the result of this, then I welcome the new change. And just maybe it’s what the show needs.

    • That’s a pretty bold statement, saying that “a large percentage of fans are happy he’s leaving.” Do you have actual statistics to back that up, or are you basing it on comments? If it’s the latter, keep in mind that in our experience (5 years of running multiple fansites), people with negative opinions/experiences are more likely to comment than those with positive things to say. Assuming that the majority view is represented via comments is inaccurate.

      P.S. Alan oversaw the writers’ room last year, but he did not write every episode. Complaints about “cheap action trips” and other gripes should be applied to the writer(s) of the scenes/episodes you didn’t like, not just to Alan.

  7. Alan was exactly what season 4 lacked, look at the information about each episode – writer, director. In seasons 1 and 3 he wrote the final episodes, and in season 2 he wrote episode 11, so the finals were always very interesting. Season 4 he wrote episode 3 and 8 again the most interesting.

    • Alan Ball has always written 2 episodes per season. He did 2 in season 4 as well.
      But I agree that the whole season felt sort of tired and unfocused and more meandering than usual, like a ship without a captain. So maybe he was already losing interest/spending a lot of time on his new projects…

  8. Alans done a crack up job so far. Im a long time fan.
    The only problem with True Blood is the show has too many side storylines.
    I dont see his leaving changing much about the show at all. He’ll still be producing so his vision should continue.
    I cant wait for season5 and more of the important stories like Bill and Sookie, Eric and Pam.

  9. I think season 4 was outstanding, from looking at some fansites , a lot of fans were very disappointed it seems, the conclusion I have come to, is that people are not getting the complexity of the shows characters,and the plot,especially in certain scenes that are considered to be either too “cheesy”, “weak” or that wouldn’t ” happen” ext. Alan has done an amazing job, looking forward to season 5.

    • excuse the bad grammer!:)

    • That is because alot of people read the books. If you have only watched the show it will continue being interesting, because it is completely different from the books.

    • A lot of people are disappointed with season 4 because they’ve read the books. Until this latest season even if they didn’t follow it to the letter the spirit of the story each book told was there. There was very little of book 4 in season 4.

  10. Forgot to add that the ratings makes makes it very clear that the show is as popular as ever, and will continue to be so, for as longs as it runs.

  11. For those who keep saying this season wasn’t about Bill and Alan was fair to E/S fans. This is the summery of season 4 for the dvds.
    “Another supernatural force has come to light in Bon Temps – witchcraft – and life for its residents will never be the same. Sookie finds herself entangled in a love triangle – torn between a vengeful Bill, the new Vampire King of Mississippi, and Eric, who’s not the former Viking he once was.”

    I rest my case.
    I love E/S, but Alan never once gave them a fighting chance. Even in the description, Bill is not only mentioned with being romantically involved with sookie, but is also mentioned first.
    We got jipped folks, and badly.

    • I fail to see how that description says that Bill had been favored over Eric last season.

    • Eric really wasn’t the viking he once was – losing his memory and all – but hopefully there will be more about Eric in season 5. All information so far confirms there will be. Not that I am a Bill fan but it seams to me that only Eric fans speak their mind, just mentioning – seams weird.