Outgoing True Blood creator and showrunner Alan Ball has revealed that the next season of his show will have a lower episode count than those previous.

The news was revealed in an interview with TV Guide where he also noted that shooting is to begin in January. While the show usually starts in November, they are waiting an additional couple of months to wait for star Anna Paquin to give birth to her child.

Each season of True Blood thus far has had 12 episodes, so fans may notice a somewhat shorter feeling and/or quicker plot line in the upcoming sixth season with 10 episodes. Ball said the decision was made “partly because of Anna and partly because of the economics,” suggesting HBO wanted to cut the show’s budget.

Despite the smaller season order, the show continues to have a huge audience. It averaged 11.3 million viewers this season across all ways of watching.

Ball will not be returning to True Blood for the sixth season and beyond. He decided to step down to move on to other projects. Mark Hudis will replace him as showrunner.

Thanks to TV Guide.

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