At the end of "True Blood" season five, Alan Ball will step down as showrunner after guiding the series from the very beginning. And at the San Diego Comic-Con International, the fans in attendance let him know that they appreciated what he has done for the show.
During the closing minutes of the "True Blood" panel, series star Stephen Moyer told the packed audience to thank Ball and they responded by giving him a standing ovation. Clearly touched, Ball stated that "True Blood" was the most fun that he has had in his career.
Earlier in the panel, moderator Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly welcomed Ball and Moyer to the stage along with Alex Skarsgard, Kristin Bauer von Straten, Ryan Kwanten, Joe Manganiello, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammel, Deborah Ann Woll, Christopher Meloni and a very pregnant Anna Paquin.
A running gag throughout the panel stemmed from Manganiello's recent role in Magic Mike led to the actor and a few other panelists to show off their best male stripper moves at the encouragement of the crowd. Ball, Wesley and even Meloni got in on the act while Kwanten showed off his ability to walk on his hands across the stage.
There wasn't much in the way of spoilers on the panel, but Ball did say that there will be at least three new romances and plenty of "hot" sex scenes of all types in the current season. Ball also stated that he has no plans to bring in weretigers or show a faerie war from the novels, however he did indicate that those decisions will now fall to the new showrunner and they could potentially show up in future seasons.
Regarding her character's transformation into a vampire, Wesley expressed her delight for the chance to redefine Tara and to play off of Woll's Jessica. Pam's yellow Walmart sweatsuit was also the butt of jokes, as Bauer von Straten described the process of choosing the outfit.
As for the recent partnership between Bill and Eric, Skarsgard said that he and Moyer had too much fun working together and he likened them to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Moyer seemed to suggest that Bill and Eric may have been friends in a past sequence that hasn't been shown to the audience before. However, that may simply have been speculation on Moyer's part.
The fifth season of "True Blood" is currently running on HBO on Sunday nights, with the sixth season set to debut next summer.