It's official; Alan Ball will no longer serve as showrunner of "True Blood" if the show returns for a sixth season. The creator of the high-rated HBO series will still act as showrunner for the upcoming fifth season, but will only take a supervisory role should the show be renewed for another season.
Confirming the news first reported by Forbes, Ball has released a statement to say, "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."
Further detailing Ball's role on the show beyond the fifth season, HBO stated, "When we extended our 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," the network added. "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."
Back in 2011, Ball denied that he was planning to step down as "True Blood" showrunner. "There will be an end for me at some point but I just closed a deal to do another season," he said last July, before the season 5 renewal of "True Blood" was officially announced. "I don't have any desire to leave because I'm having more fun than I ever had in my life."