Alan Ball Leaving True Blood , James Spader Exits The Office

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Two exits to report tonight. First up, “True Blood” creator, writer and producer Alan Ball has announced that he will no longer be the showrunner if HBO gives the green light to a sixth season.

Alan Ball stated: “‘True Blood’ has been, and will continue to be, a highlight of not only my career but my life. Because of the fantastic cast, writers, producers and crew, with whom I have been lucky enough to work these past five years, I know I could step back and the show will continue to thrive as I look forward to new and exciting ventures.”

HBO added: “When we extended our multi-year overall deal with Alan Ball in July 2011, we always intended that if we proceeded to ‘True Blood’s’ sixth season that Alan would take a supervisory role on the series and not be the day-to-day showrunner. If we proceed to season six, 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. This is the best possible world for both HBO and Alan Ball. Alan will remain available as executive producer to consult and advise on ‘True Blood’ and he will be free to develop new shows for both HBO and Cinemax. ‘Banshee,’ on which Alan serves as executive producer, is the first in house series for Cinemax and is expected to begin production this spring.”

Meanwhile, NBC has also confirmed that James Spader is leaving “The Office” after just one season.

“Executive Producer Paul Lieberstein said: “James came to ‘The Office’ to play a role that was two scenes long in the season 7 finale. He instantly brought so much life and intrigue to the part that those two scenes became a season. James always wanted this to be a one year arc, and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters in television. He’s been a great friend to me and the show, helping us successfully transition into the post-Michael Scott years, and I’m grateful for that. I’m already looking for ways to work with him again.”

The fifth season of “True Blood” premieres this summer, while “The Office” has not been given the green light yet for a ninth season.

(Photo Credit: tarbux/Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com)

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