"True Blood" Season 6 may prove to be the HBO series' most dramatic year yet -- and it's all because of what's going on behind the scenes. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that new showrunner Mark Hudis -- who replaced creator Alan Ball after Season 5 -- has himself been replaced by producer Brian Buckner.
“Mark Hudis has stepped down as showrunner of 'True Blood' to focus on development under his overall deal with the network,” an HBO spokesperson said in a statement.
While Ball's departure was expected -- he chose to leave the series to develop "Banshee" for HBO's sister network, Cinemax -- Hudis' abrupt exit in the midst of Season 6 seems a little less planned. In Jaunuary, Hudis gave an interview previewing Season 6, in which he told Haverford College magazine that the once heroic Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) would go through some changes: "Certainly he’s not going to be the Bill we know and love. He’s going to have more bite, no pun intended.”
Hudis joined "True Blood" in Season 4, while Buckner has been with the show since Season 1 as a writer and co-executive producer.
Before the series was renewed for a sixth season, HBO noted that even after Ball's departure, "the show will remain in the very capable hands of the talented team of writers and producers who have been with the show for a number of years." Ball remains involved with the show in an advisory capacity.