Addressing rumors first floated by Forbes’ Roger Friedman as he temporarily drained the nation’s reserve of vampire puns, HBO has confirmed that Alan Ball will step down as showrunner of True Blood should it be renewed for a sixth season, which the network has pretty much just confirmed that it will be. Friedman’s early report cited various reasons for Ball’s departure like the rising costs of production, general “exhaustion,” and his feeling as though the show had become “tired” last season, no matter how many shirts were taken off. But Ball, of course, stayed positive in his official statement, saying that he was stepping back only because he had faith in his writers that “the show will continue to thrive as I look forward to new and exciting ventures,” including his recently announced Cinemax crime drama Banshee, and the developing HBO medical drama Wichita, about a Kansas surgeon who becomes an unwitting focal point in the controversy over late-term abortions. HBO also backs him up that this move was “always intended,” adding that Ball will nevertheless remain on True Blood in a “supervisory role.” His expertise will no doubt prove invaluable should his replacement have any questions about how to get everyone naked with the expediency and efficiency True Blood fans have come to expect.