The Oscar-winning and Emmy-winning creator, showrunner and head writer of a popular TV series is stepping down from his day-to-day duties on the show, reports the New York Times’ Arts Beat blog.
According to the article, "Alan Ball, the television producer and screenwriter who has helped imbue the supernatural drama ‘True Blood’ with its sex-saturated bite, is preparing to say fangs for the memories to that hit HBO series. The cable network announced on Monday night that Mr. Ball, who won an Academy Award for writing ‘American Beauty’ and an Emmy for directing the pilot episode of his HBO series ‘Six Feet Under,’ would not remain the showrunner of ‘True Blood’ for a possible sixth season."
In a statement, HBO said: "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. 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.”
Notes the Arts Beat story: " ‘True Blood,’ which is adapted from Charlaine Harris’s best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels, has completed its fourth season and is preparing for its fifth; HBO has not officially announced a sixth season. That the network would not renew the popular show — which often draws more than 5 million viewers for new episodes — seems unthinkable."
Ball — who early in his career worked briefly for the now defunct MediaWeek trade magazine — is executive producing the upcoming Cinemax series “Banshee,” which is set to begin production this spring.
By the way, a tip of the TVWeek cap to MTV News, from whom we borrowed the "This Sucks" part of our headline. Also, Forbes was the first media outlet to report this story, with a headline that began "Tired Blood?" noting that Ball was leaving the day-to-day responsibilites of the show because he is exhausted.