'True Blood': Alan Ball leaving the show?

Alan-Ball-new.jpgUPDATE Feb. 28, 11:50 a.m.: Both HBO and Alan Ball himself have made statements about "True Blood."

Ball says, "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."

HBO states, "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.

Is Alan Ball leaving "True Blood?" That was the rumor going around recently. The reason was apparently exhaustion. But according to Forbes, it's a rumor no longer. The creator of the wildly successful show about vampires and other supes in Bon Temps is stepping down as head writer on the HBO show.

Ball will still be with the show, but not in the prominent role he once had. Exhaustion is still being touted as an issue and money woes have been put forward as well. Many critics argued that last season wasn't quite up to the show's usual standards, though we absolutely loved the Marnie ( Fiona Shaw) storyline. Okay, fine. We hated the conclusion. Demon baby was a bit much. But still, that final episode?

We're dying to hear what you think of this news. We've got some huge changes coming this season with lots of new cast members. We assume that we won't see much of a difference, at least in the first half of Season 5. Do you think the show will suffer? Do you think it needs some new blood? We apologize for that last, but there really wasn't any way we were going to make it to the end of this article without a blood joke. Let us know your thoughts.


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