A strange development from the set of HBO’s vampire drama True Blood: After creator Alan Ball departed at the end of last year’s chaotic season, Mark Hudis — originally one of the show’s co-executive producers — took his place … only to now himself be replaced by the show’s writer and producer Brian Buckner. Buckner has been with the series since it began and seems a natural choice to take over from Hudis, who (according to the network) is leaving to focus on his overall deal with the network.
It’s not necessarily unusual for a showrunner to leave a long-established series behind, but neither is it necessarily a great sign. With Alan Ball, many fans felt his direction with the show (which is based, with varying degrees of faithfulness, on a book series by Charlaine Harris) left something to be desired, and his departure was seen as, potentially, a good thing for the series (Ball left primarily to focus more on his excellent Cinemax series Banshee. But Hudis departing before his first season as showrunner has even wrapped filming? Curious. Hit the jump for more on that, and what Hudis has said about the rest of the series.
In an interview with Haverford College magazine (via THR), Hudis said of the series:
“It’s impossible to fill Alan Ball’s shoes. That’s not false modesty, that’s the truth, the guy’s created two massive hit shows for HBO and has on Oscar. Really, this plane is in the air, and I just want to land it safely.”
Instead, it looks like he deployed his parachute.
However, fans of True Blood should be happy to hear that according to Hudis, the sixth season (which still lacks a premiere date) would return its focus locally to Bon Temps and away from its worldwide scope last year. Still, one wonders what (if anything) about the upcoming season made Hudis appear to jump ship. Only Billith knows …
True Blood will return to HBO in summer 2013