HBO's 'True Blood' Showrunner Replaced (Exclusive)

TRUE BLOOD (2008-2014)

After wrapping up Six Feet Under, which was all about life in the face of death, executive producer Alan Ball created this vampire series — based on Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels — which is all about life after death. It also happens to be nutbar crazy.

There are more changes afoot at HBO's True Blood.

Mark Hudis, who in May replaced departing creator-showrunner Alan Ball for the show's upcoming sixth season, is being replaced himself. Writer-producer Brian Buckner, who has been with the vampire series since its first season, has taken over the position for the show's not-yet-concluded season.

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“Mark Hudis has stepped down as showrunner of True Blood to focus on development under his overall deal with the network,” a spokesperson for the premium cable network said in a statement, referring to a two-year deal the writer-producer signed with the network last spring.

Ball announced he’d be leaving the series at the end of the show's fifth season to focus his attention on since-renewed Banshee on cable cousin Cinemax. Hudis joined True Blood for the show’s fourth season as a co-executive producer and was upped to showrunner for season six. For his part, Buckner has been with the series since its inception.

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In an interview with his alma mater Haverford College’s magazine, Hudis acknowledged the challenge that taking over for Ball has entailed. “It’s impossible to fill Alan Ball’s shoes. That’s not false modesty, that’s the truth,” he told the publication. “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.”

Hudis, a celebrated writer whose credits include Cybill, That '70s Show and Nurse Jackie, suggested that the series, which had gone more global in scope during the fifth season, would bring the focus back to the Louisiana town of Bon Temps for the sixth.

Prior to his time on True Blood, Buckner worked on series including The Class, Friends and spinoff Joey.

Hudis is repped by UTA; Buckner is repped by CAA.