Breaking: Mark Hudis Steps Down as True Blood Showrunner

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Apparently Alan Ball’s shoes really ARE too big to fill. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news this evening that Mark Hudis, who took over as showrunner on True Blood after Alan Ball left following season 5, has also decided to leave the show to focus on other projects. Brian Buckner, a writer/co-producer who has been with the True Blood since the beginning, has stepped in as showrunner.

While I don’t envy Hudis the struggle I’m sure went into making this decision, I have to admit that I’m a little more comfortable having Buckner in charge. Hudis came on board in season 4 – one of the weakest of the series – while Buckner has the advantage of knowing the on-screen characters practically since inception.

True Blood is roughly a third of the way through filming the new season which we expect to debut in June.

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

25 Comments

  1. Nothinbutjoy

    March 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    This is big True Blood news!

    I really wonder how this will affect Season 6. I confess, I don’t follow writers, directors or producers, so it sounds good to me that someone who has been around since the beginning has taken the helm.

  2. Nymerias

    March 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I would not say that season 4 was THE weakest and that is not the fault of Hudis, that is the fault of many. (yes I know you were not putting the blame on Hudis lol) I would say the show has been getting weaker with every new season. What makes the show weak is the extra side stories that make no sense and do not coincide with the main storyline. The constant addition of more cast members does not help matters in an already overcrowded cast. True Blood was better when it did not stray from the main storyline and when it did not go off into ‘too far out there’ story lines. Smoke Monster anyone?…..seen it before. The multiple births of fairy babies that was portrayed more like an orgasm. True Blood can and has done better than what they have been serving us as of late.

    • Mel

      March 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      I said it was “one of the weakest of the series”, not THE weakest. And no, that’s not meant to blame Hudis, but to point out that he didn’t have the benefit of being part of the creative team during some of the stronger seasons like Buckner was.

      • Nymerias

        March 9, 2013 at 10:07 am

        You are right in that he did not have that benefit but the show has lost it’s way since season 2 when it started going off the rails and try if they are trying to right the ship now, it may just be too late. It was season 2 when all the multiple over the top story-lines started to happen and it got worse from there. I would like the show get back to it’s former glory and knock off the bullcrap.

    • Serenity

      March 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more Nymerias!! You nailed it! I too believe that True Blood has strayed so far from the story line of the books. Hey, don’t get me wrong…. I like a surprise here and there but last season was the worst!! The whole Authority story line and the ridiculous Fairy birth was an insult to Charlaine Harris’s wonderful world. What happened to Quinn? Or Amelia the witch from the books?? Or the other characters that would have been so fun to watch from the books. I only hope that next season the writers try to follow what we all fell in love with… and that is Charlaine Harris’s story!!

  3. Alex

    March 8, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    GREAT. JUST GREAT. Lets all go back to season 1 where bill will always be portrayed as the good little soldier and eric as the heartless mean vampire. We finally saw bill’s dark side, now it will probably disappear in half of season 6. The ride of change is over. Just for once, I would like to see a full season of sookie/eric together. Season 4 does not count, since it was based on the book.

    • Mel

      March 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      “Season 4 does not count, since it was based on the book.”

      The whole series is based on the books. If we’re only placing importance on who’s dating Sookie for some reason, then we’re still following the books. First Sookie was with Bill, then he betrayed her and she had a brief interlude with Amnesiac!Eric, an almost-dalliance with Alcide, another with Quinn (not likely to happen in the show), then finally settled into a long-term relationship with Eric starting in Book 7. I figured the Sookie/Eric fans were holding out for season 7 when that would be on deck.

      • trish

        March 9, 2013 at 3:34 am

        Actually she didn’t REALLY get together with Eric till book 9… and it’s imo EXTREMELY unlikely that the show will last that long.
        Also, I disagree that TB is being true to Sookie’s dating (and general) story from the books: So much has been changed that the mere fact that she at some point briefly went from Bill to Eric in both mediums is not enough to say the show is close: I think it’s SUBSTANTIALLY different.

        And yeah, this news about Hudis isn’t a good sign imho. It could mean even worse writing and lack of cohesion for this season but who knows, it may actually make things better in that “lucky accident”kind of way that sometimes happens. It’s hard to say, but I do’t have any expectations at this point so I’ll just wait and see…

        • Mel

          March 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

          Right, that’s why I said the relationship “started” in Book 7. That was the book where Sookie finally began to realize that she loved Eric in his non-amnesiac, arrogant, ruthless (but still so very appealing) state.

          I have more confidence in Buckner than Hudis as showrunner. There’s something about trying to come into a show that’s already established and guide it that is fraught with challenges. Since Buckner has been there from the start, and written some of my favorite episodes, I feel like he has a better grasp of not just the characters but how to produce the big picture. Very much looking forward to seeing his vision.

          • Sookieeleana

            March 9, 2013 at 11:26 am

            I agree. I think Brian Buckner is a better fit than Mark Hudis. It’s just a shame the change is being made mid-season. It is maybe not good publicity for the show? Of course the time to judge will be at the end, when we have all seen season 6 in it’s entirety 🙂

            Waiting sucks!

          • trish

            March 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

            Yeah, well, she was still dating Quinn though, and in book 8 too.
            So I wouldn’t call it a “relationship” with Eric… unless you’re using the term in a broader sense, in which case I’d say it started MUCH earlier…

      • Nymerias

        March 9, 2013 at 10:16 am

        I have to disagree that ‘the whole series is based on the books’ because that is simply not true. The books are based on Sookie and her journey through the supernatural world and everything centers around Sookie. Everything that happened to other characters in the series involved Sookie or affected her in some way as she was always the one helping that character because she was investigating it. I am not saying that I hate the show but if they would have stuck to the main premise as they did in season 1, then we would not be having this problem or this conversation. Sookie of season 1 was more like book Sook and now (since season 2 actually) she just appears dumb, especially when it comes to Bill.

        • Mel

          March 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

          We’ll have to agree to disagree on our respective interpretations of “based on the books”. 🙂

          • Nymerias

            March 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm

            Sounds good to me! 😀

        • Elisha_Q

          March 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm

          I think that they kept making her les dumb actually.
          Season 1
          “My grandma just got brutally killed, it’s only logical for me to go lose my virginity to that vamp I met”
          Since season 2 Sookie has been more quick witted, even snarky at times.

      • esw45

        March 9, 2013 at 11:40 am

        Mel, I hope you are right about this season setting up sookie and eric to have a relationship in season 7. If Buckner being show runner heads the plot line that way then its a good change to me and I want the overall direction of the show to be more sookie centered and less Bill centered as it has these last 3 seasons. A strong self reliant Sookie is great for true blood.

  4. Helen

    March 9, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Wow, that was unexpected. I hope it doesn’t have too much of a negative impact upon the show. However, as previous posters have said, I’m glad that Brian Buckner is taking the lead because he’s been there since day one and has a better understanding of character dynamics. It’ll be interesting to see what direction he’ll take things in a potential seventh season.

  5. Elisha_Q

    March 9, 2013 at 5:59 am

    It could be bad. Especially if Brian’s inspiration is burnt out after all these years on the show. Plus, knowing the characters could mean more side stories – just to see what happens to them.

    It could be good, too. If he decides to lessen the special effects and work on a better overall story (which I highly doubt cause it’s HBO, but there is always hope)

    We’ll see 🙂

    • trish

      March 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      The first thing he needs to do is trim down all those effin’ storylines. Half the plots would do, especially since this season is even shorter.
      But that’s been repeated ad nauseam by fans and critics alikefor years and has changed absolutely nothing, so I’m not sure why things would change now. Hope springs eternal though LOL

      • Elisha_Q

        March 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm

        If they cut the goo drop and the unnecessary sex scenes the shorter season won’t be a problem 🙂

  6. media_savant

    March 9, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I just hope it goes for one more season where everyone knows it’s the end and the show gets a proper ending. I’m sick to death of favorite shows just ending with no closure.

  7. TeaAna

    March 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    hehe- I love how things just shoot off the rails, sometimes. 🙂

    I agree with everything that Mel has said- in the original post and responses; which is unique because she tends to “not see” and I have to lean on Liz for moral support.

    😉

    First off, Season 5 was insanely great! I remember losing a bit of confidence during season 4- As a “promotor” of the show sense it started, I couldn’t depend on that season to produce an episode that would impress to any I may have persuaded to watch for the first time. BUT season 5 came back STRONG and it was an awesome departure gift that Ball left us.

    🙂

    This switcheroo is weird, isn’t it? I don’t know the Hollywood business, but leaving mid-season like this- Isn’t there usually some kind of a contract that should cover a time period? The show is successful- it has its ups and “downs” but has a powerful, wide-spread fan base. So why leave- on the first go like this? Makes me think that maybe it has to do with personal issues.

    The new guy, Buckner, being on board since the start is good. He knows the show, all the peeps, and what works and what doesn’t first hand. It’ll be great- I would wager my son on it.

    One thing from books to show that I will miss is the Altogether Dead storyline… I don’t see how it can be adopted in, but oh well- they’ll think of something just as fantastic.

    *smooches*

  8. TeaAna

    March 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Hahahahaha- End Note on Season 5: It was ALL fantastic except for the fire monster stuff— But we have all pretty much came to a common agreement on that madness. 😉

  9. Evan

    March 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Hmm, interesting. Ideally, I wouldn’t think that a show would want its showrunner to leave midway through the season (although, obviously, Hudis was only the showrunner for about half of a season).

    I have to admit when I first saw this I got a bit worried, but I think Mel’s optimism that Brian Buckner will do a good job makes me feel a bit better about it, and you brought up some good points about Buckner too. He has been there since the beginning, and has been credited as the head writer on some fantastic episodes, and from what I can tell he seems to be the most comedic out of all of the head writers, (well, as comedic as True Blood can get, anyway) and I like that.

    I think that we’ll just have to see how it all works out, I can’t really tell yet if this is necessarily a good or a bad thing for the show, but all that I know for sure is I cannot wait until season 6! Waiting really does suck.

  10. Phillip

    March 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    When I saw this news the day it broke, I must admit my heart stopped for a second! I know that sounds dramatic, but honestly, I immediately had an OH $#IT moment! After reading your posts Liz and Mel, I too, feel much more optomistic about the change. Obviously it was a necessary change, I just hope that it wasn’t because the first half that has already been shot was sookie…. I mean, sucky. lol. If that is the reason, hopefully they can film some new scenes, splice up some of the already filmed episodes, and make them better.
    I do agree some of the side storylines are driving me crazy… unnecessary filler. It always makes me feel like, okay, next season all of this is going to come together in a big light bulb episode, but it never does… it just spreads further and further.
    I have been thinking about the female wolf (can’t remember the character’s name for the life of me) who had consumed so much vamp blood that she was bleeding through her pours…. could this be the hybrid? I have been meaning to mention that to see what other’s opinions are on this, Liz and Mel also!! I mean, a lot of the wolves from the pact were fed a large diet of V, but none reacted as she had… and I feel like True Blood ALWAYS shows us something for a REASON… I do not think they put such emphasis on her arc just for all that time wasted, and the intimate scenes shot with Alcide and his father, just for her to die. What do yall think?

    This is my first time posting. I have NO IDEA why I have never participated in the conversations before. I love this site, I check on it weekly, I have listened to EVERY SINGLE podcast probably several times. I commend you Liz and Mel, and humbly thank you for your EXCELLENT service to the true blood fan base. You ladies are wonderful!