Alan Ball, the creator and showrunner of HBO's True Blood, is stepping down from his position. He will take a back-seat role on the vampire drama as it continues into its sixth season. According to HBO he will have a 'supervisory' role on the show going forward, but will also be developing new projects for the company.
Ball's first post-True Blood role will be as an executive producer on Cinemax's upcoming original series, Banshee (which will not feature any supernatural elements). Cinemax is owned by HBO and is developing an original programming schedule with HBO's advice and input. Ball is also developing an original series for HBO focusing on the life of an abortion doctor, likely to be controversial.
This is an interesting move, the first time (to my knowledge) that HBO has elected to continue a TV show after its original creator/showrunner has stepped down. Previously the departure of a showrunner has led to the cancellation of the series. However, with True Blood being based (increasingly loosely) on a series of books which provide a future direction for the series for several seasons to come, Ball's involvement is less crucial than it would be for a purely original series.
This is also an interesting precedent. With HBO committing to Game of Thrones for as long as the showrunners want to make it, there was fear that at some point David Benioff and D.B. Weiss might want to return to writing movie scripts (a potentially far more lucrative enterprise) and that would spell the end of the show. With this move, HBO indicates that this would not necessarily be the case.