Creator Alan Ball Leaving ‘True Blood’ After Season 5

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:04 am,

Alan Ball Leaving True Blood After Season 5 Creator Alan Ball Leaving True Blood After Season 5

While True Blood owes its existence to author Charlaine Harris and her Southern Vampire Mysteries series of books, there’s no denying that it owes its popularity to creator and showrunner Alan Ball. So what happens when said creator/showrunner leaves the show?

Well, we’re about find out. After season five ends — which, for those not keeping track, is the upcoming season — Ball will be leaving True Blood in the capacity of showrunner, though he will remain as an executive producer/advisor.

Courtesy of Deadline, here’s the statement from HBO:

“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.  ‘Banshee,’ on which Alan serves as executive producer, is the first in house series for Cinemax and is expected to begin production this spring.”

And here’s the statement from 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.”

Season four of True Blood was considered by many to be the worst of the series – directionless, ridiculous, obnoxious, and worst of all, boring. As someone who has watched the show from start to finish, I can scarcely remember what the point of season four was. Fairies! Cat people! Witches! Baby Eric! King Bill! Jason and Jessica, sitting in a tree! Hilarious ghost-action! And more, more, more. It was as though the writers of the show picked plot points at random and refused to make sense of any of them.

At this point, it’s unclear as to whether or not Alan Ball leaving the show is a good thing or a bad thing. Obviously, the first and best season wouldn’t have been the funny, fresh, and entertaining experience it was without Ball, but perhaps the guy is just sick of living in the world of True Blood and would do everyone a hearty favor by moving on to something new.

As utterly senseless as season four was, the most interesting stuff came at the very end of the very last episode (SPOILER ALERT!)Russell Edgington was alive and on the loose, the vampire-hating Steve Newlin was back as a vampire, Bill and Eric teamed up and murdered Nan Flanagan, and Tara, the most maligned and annoying True Blood character of all time, was shot and seemed to be dying. Like I said, good things all around!

The point is, there are reasons to look forward to season five, even if season four was consistently disappointing. Are you looking forward to it, Screen Ranters?


Twelve episodes of True Blood return to HBO in summer 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: True blood
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  1. I did think season 4 was senseless. And thank you for agreeing that Tara is the most annoying character. I believe the show will still have its vision and will continue to be interesting, even without its creator.

  2. Best tv show about vampires is still buffy. I haven’t watched forever knight so i don’t know about this one. The first season of true blood was fine but after …

    • No I severely disagree.I used to love Buffy when I was 13 but when I watched it back, years later, it’s horrible.The story lines are stupid and every character is whiny and they all talk like nerds.The show has not aged well and I can’t wait for new shows about vampires to come and squash that crap so people will quit bringing it up.Buffy is just Dawson’s Creek with vampires.Oh and don’t get me started on the fight scenes and the stunt double.I can’t believe for a minute that vampires are afraid of an anorexic female, a nerdy lesbian witch who can make pencils float and a guy that doesn’t stop trying to be comedic relief.

    • Totally agree. There has been NO better vamp series than “Buffy”.

  3. True Blood and The Vampire Diaries are suffering from the same problems IMO. After their 1st seasons they expanded the world around the central characters so much that they have both become convoluted, bloated and, confusing. When ever I try to explain what either of the shows are about I say they’re Vampire Soap Opera’s and the only difference is that TB has nudity.
    Season 1 and most of season 2 of TB were great because most of the story took place in Bon Temps and with the people who lived there. Now it’s all over the place and I barely remember most of last season. I know Russell is coming back and that should be fun but I dread more faries, wolves, shifters and so on.

    • Sorry, gotta disagree, man. Vampire Diaries rarely dips in quality and — for the most part — just keeps getting better, season after season.

      • ^^ Agreed! Granted sometimes the storyline is a little dull but it always ends on a high note.

        • sorry I meant to say that SOMETIMES the TVD storyline is kind of boring but it always gets interesting before the end of the episode! I agree with ben moore

    • Yes, having too many story lines is a mistake. Just a main key driver and a few key players please.

  4. this show is really bad. dont know what all the fuss is about

  5. I’m glad there are other people out there who hate Tara as much as I do, she really pisses me offhand I know she can’t test well with audiences I think the only reason they keep her around is because if they killed her off it’d be viewed as a hate crime. :-D I also hated last season, maybe Ball’s departure is a good thing. It’s time to get some fresh blood in there literally and figuratively so the show can get back to its former glory. I can’t wait to see what Russel Edgington has up his sleeves :)

    • exactly show gone downhill lol

  6. As soon as Eric became a pushover, it totally lost me. Even when he got his memory back, he remained a pathetic little pansy. Which unfortunately is what happened in the books, so I hope that’s one storyline they take some liberties with. Bring back badass Eric, with his cutting one-liners and innuendo.

    • I couldn’t agree more. What is the fun in a bland, tamed vampire?

  7. I disagree with season four being the worst. I think season three was the worst, so far. As for annoying characters, Russel wins that one for me, so him coming ain’t a good thing from my point of view.


    • I agree. I love Tara. She was the ONLY person who made sense and seemed “normal.” She hated the whole idea of her BFF “loving” a vampire and was sick of all the supernatural hokus pokus that went on in the town. Why people hate her of all the obnoxious choices is beyond me. Maybe because she’s not blonde and a love interest?

  9. Tara has never been an annoying character for me but I do understand the feeling. Maryanne the maenad from season 2 was the most irritating character I’ve ever had to sit through a season and wait for the death of. As far as this season goes, I have hope that the reaction of viewers to last season’s idiotic silliness will have had an effect on the direction they go this year. Hope hope hope. Otherwise, the only thing I’m looking forward to is seeing Russell Edgington eat people’s children.

  10. I don’t know what you’re talking about, season 4 was the awesome. True Blood finally got back around to producing a show that reminded me of Season one. Season two was the worst of them all.

    • I think what happens is that they made the black female character, Tara, an annoying character as writers always DO with black women. If you’ve ever seen Melrose Place, Garcelle Beauvous(sp?), or Vanessa Williams(decided to leave due to not agreeing with her role in MP) a person with tons of problems to the point that you didn’t even want her in the show. Tara had the same slew of problems while the white characters had damn near everything peachy. Tara has the lush for a mom who then goes to YET another black person for help who gets killed, like in all horror films, pretty much early in the season(that voodoo chick) then there’s her black boyfriend who came with his own problems. So she’s become the one with the most problems that most people would commit suicide on, while Sookie, the pretty little white girl, has to decide on two schlongs, yet chooses them both. How convenient.

  11. I loved Season 4 with the exception of the ghost haunting Lafayette and killing his boyfriend. That was stupid, especially when he stole the baby, come on, LOL. Tara and her quivering lip were annoying but I don’t think they should kill of Sookie’s best friend. I didn’t like Jessica suddenly being a play girl, if she is going to be with Jason, then they should be together and that’s that. I absolutely loved Eric becoming sick and falling in love with Sookie. I think it demonstrated what a fantastic actor he is. I LOVE Russell, his acting is stellar and I’m so glad they brought him back. He is my favorite vampire because he’s so bad, LOL. I’m looking forward to June 10th.

  12. I think that shifters shouldnt be scared of werewolfs or werepanthers cause they could be lions, grizzly bears or rhinos or dinosaurs. If they can s*** to any animal

  13. QI think that shifters shouldnt be scared of werewolfs or werepanthers cause they couled be lions, grizzly bears or rhinos or dinosaurs. If they can s*** to any animal

    • Shifters have to have seen an animal and I think they even have to look into its eyes in order to shift into it like when sam was in jail and maryann was coming for him he made eye contact with a fly so he could shift into it and escape so dinos and extremely exotic or extinct are a no go and I agree tara is super annoying I wish she stayed dead

  14. As for me, I hope True Blood improves. It’s been extremely sidetracked from Charlaine Harris’ books.

  15. This season seems to have a lot more fight scenes then what I remember all the other seasons having.. Where have all the love scenes gone? In the words of my husband, “Where have all the boobies gone?”

  16. I don’t get why Tara was considered so annoying. She made the most sense to me. What was so annoying about her. The annoying ones are all the authority folks. Too many of them and too many endless characters popping up. Tara is great. Vampire Tara is not so great.

  17. TBH I cant agree with a single thing in this article. Season 4 was my fav of all the seasons, its when the show came out of its shell and opened the door for other ‘sups’ and the rest of the fantasy genre. It’s no longer a stereotypical vamp show and IMO the show has many more avenues and areas to explore now thanks to S04. For me S02 was the worst. The whole maynad plot was meh and boring and kinda slow. S04 was full of excitement!

    Witches and wolves, shifters and Fairy land! ROCK ON SEASON 04!!!!!

    Also Tara rocks!

  18. Buffy is better than all of the other “vamp” shows because it was more than just a “vamp” show. Joss Whedon is INCREDIBLE. That show is in a league of its own…and its aged perfectly. While I love True Blood and am currently finishing season 4 (which isn’t bad at all to me)…it could never hold a candle to BtVS. Sorry lol

  19. Season 5 is starting to feel just confusing. Sookie is not at the centre of things any more and that puts the show off balance. Plus the massacre at the karaoke bar – I’m sorry but it was too horrific and cruel for me to get a campy ironic laugh out if it. I would not watch that again and I hope there is no more of that sort of treatment.

    • Win, I agree. While I did enjoy the little ‘drunken vampires’ scene (especially Bill riding on Eric’s shoulders, lol) – I thought the massacre was revolting. And confusing. Is Bill becoming a heartless, cruel monster? Was it just the effects of the ancient blood? Or was he just taking part so that he’d fit in and not draw attention to himself? And another thing that is confusing and distasteful to me – we’ve already dealt with the Fellowship and their brand of crazy religious zealot – now we have to watch the vampires act foolish, too? Snore.

      • I think the point is when governments think their power over others makes them gods mouthpiece, things go badly wrong. It has happened in history. If those in power think might is right, and stop caring for those weaker, then massacres of children and ordinary folk can happen. Its genuinely scary so I hope the power drunk vamps can be defeated in the show.

  20. Season 5 is by far the Worse season which I thought after season 4 nothing could get WORSE!!! Wow this is jus yawn… Stories and plots are too stupid for words..goodbye TrueBlood

  21. I have been watching all seasons. I have not missed a show. I think every episode was great. This is a show you have to stay on top. Yes it does change around. In all honesty you have to keep up with it to realize what is going on. I look forward to every one. I think the cast is great and the story line works.

  22. I have to disagree with you Ben….season 4 was the BEST season to me! it built on top of all the other seasons and the witches gave the vamps a run for their money. It’s like JP said this is a show you have to be on top off. I re-watch the episodes and always see how they connect they story. I’m enjoying watching about the inner workings of the vampire “government”

    The show is going very good direction for me…..aside from the fact that they made Tara live to see season 5. LOL She irks me. I wanted her gone from when she left the first time.

  23. I completely disagree. Season 4 much like book 4 is my favorite in the series. Season 4 was supposed to be about Eric and Sookie developing a relationship and they did and it was amazing. You can’t complain about fae and werewolves and witches because remember this series is based on the book series and a good hunk of season 4 was pulled directly from the novel. Season 5 on the other hand….yea way off the charts.

    I could have done without King Bill and yes I also rejoiced when Tara was looking like she was going to die. However! I’m liking Tara again as a vampire, she seemed to get her attitude back and stopped being a whiney little b****.

  24. Season one was good, season two was okay, Maryann was terrible in my opinion I didn’t like how they made the whole season basically about her, the third season which is my personal favorite was good I just love Russel and his mad insanity, season four was an big EH, but I still did enjoy the season and was still VERY excited for the coming of season 5, now that I have seen season 5 I must say it was terrible and strayed completely from what trueblood has really been about, I mean yes there has always been an authority of vampires in the show to control them and set guidelines for vampires but honestly I think as fans we could have cared less about vampire politics and going deeper into them into the show. Plus I have to agree with previous comments above that the karaoke scene was completely revolting and grotesque feeding on children is taking it WAY to far and it honestly made me sick. I am a huge blood, guts and gore fan also, another reason why I love the show but that was taking it just a way to far in my opinion. I’m still very much anticipating season 6 but am EXTREMELY disappointed that they are cutting off two episodes and now we only will have ten episodes in this new season, I mean are you kidding me? We wait a whole dang year for the show to come on and now there rippin us off of two episodes as well! WOW!!!!!! That will honestly kill ratings I think. I am a die hard truebie, I have been watching the show since it first came out on HBO and I own all four seasons on DVD, plus I’ve read the books. Bottom line though is that season 6 had better be good and it be better a heck of a lot better than season 5 and if it doesn’t get better n just gets worse well then they just lost themselves a HUGEEEEEE fan who will be very very sad and disappointed in the show.

  25. I loved season 5. thank you, DIRECTION! Especially towards the end when it was clear that you could maybe draw parallels between the Authority’s behaviour and events/trends in actual human history. That’s when direction was clear. Coherent themes and storylines. Season 4 was directionless and just like a soap opera. I don’t really care about revenge of who killed Sookie’s parents yawn. Or black clad vamps thinking they are better than others. I do care about a world where equal rights for all species must reign. I care about honour in Wolf packs, not drug taking and bowing to vampires. I LOVED THE NEW SOFTNESS IN ERIC!!!! That was the best part of Season 4 and I’m glad to see him still decent. Pam and Tara I’m REALLY enjoying. It’s good to see that feisty b**** thing they both have. Getting to know Pams back story was fabulous. I’ve always liked Tara and am enjoying Vamp Tara. I think people just hate victims and poor Tara went through some bad s*** which made people uncomfortable. But she got her mojo back even as a human (I loved her as a wrestler) and now she’s a tough vampire. Awesome. I’m okay with the all the developments in Bills character. So thanks for the clarity of themes in Season 5 and thanks that some decency and justice is happening amongst the supernatural crew. It can’t just be a free for all of misery and death, there has to be some good and some honour and a reason to get behind certain folk. Cheers. Hope season six can keep up the clarity and direction of themes.

  26. I know these are old posts, but I really liked True Blood when it first came out, it was fresh and funny. It is so predictable now and last season with the Lilleth thing really dragged out. They should have quit while they were ahead, now it is just ridiculous, not that it wasn’t far-fetched before. Even the guy who plays the main wereworlf said people will believe anything no matter how far-fetched, or that could have been ppl will watch anything no matter how far-fetched. My sentiments exactly. Not a fan anymore

  27. The first season was the best because they pretty much stayed with the book…in the subsequent seasons…they strayed from the books. Season 4 had the potential be oh so much more…Book 4, most everyones favorite. I hope they can bring it around. Season 2…orgy’s!? Come on… Season 1 with Jason…it was fun…but than they lost it. Looking forward to Season 5 bringing it back around. The story is interesting because the 3 main charactors are vying for Sookie… Eric, Bill and Sam.

  28. You guys need to stop comparing this television series to the books. It’s not going to be the same, and it never will be. This goes for any novels that make it to your television screens. The writers of these shows will ALWAYS make an effort to change it around, because they like to keep viewers on their toes, and this includes viewers who have read the books. Doing so would be impossible if they completely copied the books you’ve grown to love. Instead, you should try to love this show as an entirely new story line, and quit trying to make comparisons. As for this show, all of the seasons have been interesting aside from season five which felt incredibly full of ”fluff”. Other than that, I have hope for the series, and it has yet to bore me into abandonment. <3

  29. I’ve been quite disappointed in True Blood, and it’s increasing season after season. I’m invested enough in it to keep wanting to watch, but the whole time I’m thinking “This is so stupid”. I think the show can be fixed, but not without a serious overhaul. I’m not totally sure just WHAT will fix it though? Killing off main characters isn’t enough. I think it’s the story lines that are bad. However, I can’t stand Tara really, and liked it much better when Bill wasn’t a bad guy and Eric was. There isn’t enough “suspense” to the show. It’s all just kinda corny. Not to mention, it doesn’t really follow the books at all. I think that’s where they got into trouble. It just can’t compare to the quality of Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire. It’s not even in the same league as those shows.