Alan Ball Leaving True Blood After Season 5

Alan Ball has announced that he will be leaving True Blood behind after he wraps up season 5.

Ball’s exit as the showrunner has been confirmed by HBO execs. While he may be doing away with vampires, Ball will still be around as he signed a deal with the network in 2011 which will keep him in the HBO family in other capacities. Besides True Blood, Ball also serves as the executive producer for a news series called Banshee, which airs on sibling channel Cinemax.

HBO and Ball released the following statements about the situation:

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.”

Alan Ball: “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.”

Do you think the show will go into a sixth season without creator Alan Ball? And if it does, can we expect a drop in quality?