In a packed Comic-Con panel in Ballroom 20, the cast and fans of HBO's "True Blood" got the opportunity to say goodbye to exec producer Alan Ball. Scribe/co-exec producer Mark Hudis will take over as showrunner for the vamp camp after Ball steps down next season.
During the Q&A, Ball has asked about future episodes, and he had to gently inform audience members that he "would not be involved in those decisions."
"Alan Ball never makes you do the same thing again. Just when you film the amazing scene he gives you, you have something even better next time," said star Stephen Moyer. "We must say thank you to Alan Ball."
The soon-to-be-former showrunner received a standing ovation from the cast and the audience.
"Thank you," said Ball. "If I wasn't so old and so beat up, I would do 11,000 more episodes because this job is the most fun I ever had in my career."
The panel included Ball, along with "True Blood" stars Anna Paquin, Sam Trammell, Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Alexander Skarsgard, Deborah Ann Woll, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Joe Manganiello, and recent cast addition, Christopher Meloni, who talked a little about his former job as Lt. Elliot Stabler.
"What is considered a sex crime on this show is very different," joked Meloni, who recently left his longtime gig on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
When asked if he would ever return to the show, Meloni stated: "I had 12 great years and no bad blood, so we will see what comes."
The cast talked about the upcoming season, but offered very limited info so not to reveal any plot points. Moyer's recent turn as a director was also discussed by the cast.
"I was quite nervous because I love them all, and wanted them to be pleased, so it was terrifying. But I was pleased with it," said Moyer. "It's something I always wanted to do...I was the artistic director in a theater company for ten years back in London. It look 15 years for me to go back to it. I asked Alan in the first season, and he said, 'No.' I asked again, and he said, 'No.'"
"It just didn't make any sense to not let him do it after I let him suffer," said Ball.
The vamp drama is one of the cabler's most-watched shows. The fifth-season preem aired on June 10 to 5.2 million viewers in its initial telecast (6.3 million for two airings).
HBO recently gave a sixth season order to "True Blood."