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Alan Ball to Step Down as True Blood Showrunner

Rumors flew this weekend that due to exhaustion from juggling multiple projects, True Blood creator Alan Ball would be relinquishing his current duties as showrunner. Today, HBO sort of confirmed the speculation, but clarified that Ball would only be stepping down to a supervisory position if the show returns for a sixth season, as it's expected to. "True Blood has been, and will continue to be, a highlight of not only my career but my life," Ball said in a statement. "I know I could step back and the show will continue to thrive as I look forward to new and exciting ventures." The move is nothing new, since long-running series often lose high-powered showrunners like Marc Cherry, Steven Bochco, and David E. Kelley several seasons in as they prepare new projects; still, Ball said only months ago, "I don't have any desire to leave because I'm having more fun than I ever had in my life."

Photo: Art Streiber /HBO