June 22, 2011 2:49am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'True Blood': Alan Ball Negotiating for Season 5
With HBO’s vampire hit True Blood premiering its fourth season Sunday, creator Alan Ball is in talks to return for a fifth season of the Anna Paquin starrer.
“Right now I’m in the middle of negotiating for a fifth season,” Ball told The Hollywood Reporter at Tuesday’s Season 4 premiere in Hollywood. “I don’t know if I have any left in me after that. We’ll see.”
The showrunner, whose résumé also includes the cable network’s critical favorite Six Feet Under, added that he could see the show based on Charlaine Harris’ 13-book Sookie Stackhouse series “going a few more seasons.”
“I think if we did 13 seasons we’d have to address why vampires are aging,” Ball joked. “Maybe there would be a bad batch of Tru Blood. … With the supernatural thing you can always go places storywise that you couldn’t go on another show.”
Ball, who signed on to direct a dark comedy pitch he developed with Elan Mastai that landed at Paramount, said that Season 4 has been “really tough,” and while he’s happy with it, he’s “ready to take a big vacation right now.”
“I’ll play it by ear and see how it happens,” he said.
Ball first hinted at the series continuing on without him earlier this month in an interview with Rolling Stone in which he said, “I don’t believe True Blood is 100 percent dependent on my participation. It has a strong following and a really strong cast, and there could be a future where I step back and the show would continue.”
Other showrunners recently inking deals include Mad Men’s Matt Weiner, who in March signed a two-year deal to remain at the helm of the AMC Emmy-winning series.