Alan Ball: I'm Leaving True Blood in Capable Hands
Anna Paquin, Alan Ball
Alan Ball, who has been the creative force behind the first five seasons of True Blood, says he has complete faith in new showrunner Mark Hudis — and he thinks fans should, too.
"He knows what he's doing, he's run shows before, he's been a writer-producer on this show for two seasons and has written and produced some really excellent episodes," Ball said during an online Q&A with fans Monday. "I'm just asking him and the writing staff to keep making True Blood ... True Blood!"
True Blood taps Mark Hudis to succeed Alan Ball as showrunner
Ball said the most recent fifth season of the show, which concluded Sunday, has been one of his personal favorites. "I really enjoyed this last season and the undermining of the Authority by the fundamentalists," Ball said. "I thought it was a really fun thing for our characters to be involved in and really interesting and complicated."
He'll also miss some of the characters he's leaving behind. "I love all the characters deeply, but the most fun for me to write are Jason, Lafayette and Russell Edgington," he said. "They each have such a distinctive voice."
"I really enjoyed Bill because he's always struggled with being what he is," Ball continued. "I've really enjoyed Jason because I think he has really struggled to find meaning in his life over these last couple of seasons, and he's really hit a wall with being the 'hot guy,' and that's not really doing anything for him. I've enjoyed Pam and how earlier she was mostly comic relief but now she's developed her own story with her own emotional landscape. And I think that's really interesting, because she's such a guarded character."
Read our recap of the True Blood finale
Speaking with TVGuide.com via email, Ball said he was particularly proud of Tara's transition into a vampire this season. "Once I saw how great it was playing, I stopped being nervous," he wrote. "It gave her so much more to do than she's had as a human. I thought Rutina did such a great job with it so I'm not surprised viewers latched onto that."
What viewers may find surprising is that Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), who Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) staked in the season finale, will actually stay dead, unlike Bill, who rose out of his blood soup anew in the closing moments. "When you have a character like that, whose done so many horrible things, it was his time," Ball tells us. "It was also time to give Eric that satisfaction."
True Blood's Rutina Wesley on Tara and Pam's... Love?
Up next for Ball is executive-producing a Cinemax show called Banshee, which will premiere in 2013. His production company also has several other projects in development at HBO, including movies and TV series. He also has three screenplays in the works. "I'm stepping back from TV for a while because the grind is too much and I'm too old," Ball said. "I would rather work on some smaller, self-contained things like some smaller, independent movies." One screenplay he wrote, What's the Matter with Margie, is scheduled to begin shooting in January, Ball said.
And his parting words for longtime True Blood fans? "Keep watching. I know I'm going to!"
Check out this deleted scene from the Season 5 finale to see what happens once the gang leaves the Authority: