Alan Ball is stepping down as showrunner of HBO's "True Blood," according to Forbes.
Following the conclusion of Season 5, Ball moves to a supervisory role should the network pick up the series for a sixth season. The change is part of HBO's overall deal with Ball signed in July 2011.
According to a statement from the network, a green light for Season 6 will move Ball's day-to-day showrunner duties to veteran members of the show's writing and producing staff. Ball will remain available to consult and advise, however.
"'True Blood' has been, and will continue to be, a highlight of not only my career but my life," Ball said. "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."
As a result, Ball will shift his focus to executive producing "Banshee," Cinemax's first in-house series, which is expected to begin production this spring.
Ball penned the Academy Award–winning screenplay for "American Beauty" and spearheaded HBO's Emmy-winning drama "Six Feet Under."
"True Blood" follows the waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) -- who can hear people’s thoughts -- and her relationship with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) as they navigate the abundant supernatural threats bearing down on the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps.
It also stars Alexander Skarsgård, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer.
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