HBO confirmed today that True Blood creator Alan Ball will be stepping down as showrunner after Season 5 of the hit vampire series, although he will remain on board as an executive producer. Here is the statement released by HBO regarding Alan Ball's departure as True Blood showrunner.

"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."

Alan Ball himself also released a statement regarding the big news, which you can check out below.

"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."

It isn't known who will take over for Alan Ball as the True Blood showrunner once Season 5 ends. True Blood Season 5 will debut sometime this summer, although HBO hasn't announced a specific premiere date yet.

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