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Ball Goes to Bat for Vampires

July 24, 2008 7:00 PM

Forget "Moonlight." Never mind "Twilight." Alan Ball's new HBO series "True Blood" promises to be the vampire event of the year.

At least that's the impression one got sitting in a room with a few thousand potential fans of the project.

It helps that "Blood" is based on Charlaine Harris' successful "Southern Vampire" series of novels.

Harris told Comic-Con attendees that she'd been approached about possible TV and film adaptations of her work before Ball got involved. One studio even went so far as to commission a script for a feature.

"If it hadn't been based on one of my books, I would've enjoyed it," Harris said of the screenplay. But because it was based on her baby, "I was appalled."

As for Ball, he had pretty much decided to give up TV for features after "Six Feet Under" wrapped. But then he found Harris' books one day, and he couldn't stop reading.

There was another reason he was attracted to "True Blood," Ball explained.

"After years of 'Six Feet Under,' I was really sick of people talking about their problems all the time," the producer said. "I wanted to do something fun."

Other tidbits from the "True Blood" panel:

—Ball said he's established some hard and fast rules for the show. "The big three are no blue light, no contact lenses and no opera music."

—Don't expect lots of fancy CGI effects on the show. "We're trying to keep the magic as mundane as possible," Ball said.

—Romantic relationships will be ... complicated. "Vampires' sexuality and their need for blood are kind of intertwined," he said.

—Humans who like to have sex with vampires have a name on the show: "We call them 'fang gangers'," Ball said.

—HBO's viral marketing for the show includes a big push for a True Blood beverage. If such a beverage existed, what would be in it? "V-8, Vicodin, Valium and Viagra," Ball said.

—Josef Adalian


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