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Alan Ball (SFU) announces new vampire series with HBO

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Alan Ball (SFU) announces new vampire series with HBO

Old 10-28-05, 02:11 PM
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Alan Ball (SFU) announces new vampire series with HBO

From Variety this morning:
Ball back in HBO's court
Cabler calls on 'Six Feet Under' creator for new vamp skeinp


By DENISE MARTIN

"Six Feet Under" creator-exec producer Alan Ball is raising the dead again at HBO.

Pair have struck an exclusive two-year overall pact that calls for Ball to develop series for the paybox. First up is a drama based on Charlaine Harris' "Southern Vampire" series of bestselling novels.

Project is set in a world where vampires and humans co-exist after the development of synthetic blood. First book, "Dead Until Dark," revolves around a waitress in rural Louisiana who meets the man of her dreams only to find out he's a vampire with a bad reputation.

"It's not a high-concept pitch," Ball said. "Charlaine has created such a rich environment that's very funny and at the same time very scary. I bought the book on impulse and I just couldn't put it down."

Ball, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for "American Beauty," shuttered production on "Six Feet" after its fifth season. He will exec produce, write and direct the pilot for the vampire drama.

HBO entertainment prexy Carolyn Strauss said she'd been sure Ball would leave the television world for movies after he wrapped "Six Feet," and she was surprised and grateful that he came back to the network with yet another passion project.

"Alan really fell in love with the books," HBO entertainment prexy Carolyn Strauss said. "At its heart, the books are a metaphor for difference and outsiders and fitting in. That's Alan's bailiwick and what he writes so well about."

"I wouldn't consider doing this series with just any network," Ball said. "Ultimately, I have a great relationship with HBO. They give me a great deal of autonomy, and they really know how to market shows."

HBO has gotten in the habit of locking up key behind-the-scenes talent in mega-overall TV deals. Others who have inked with the network include Michael Patrick King, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Milch, David Chase, Terence Winter and Doug Ellin.

Ball has just finished scripting "Towelhead," based on Alicia Erian's novel about the sexual awakening of an Arab-American teenage girl, which he plans to make his feature directing debut. Scribe said he's also sitting on two spec scripts and recently workshopped a new play, "All That I Will Ever Be."

Date in print: Fri., Oct. 28, 2005, Los Angeles
So, anyone read the books this vampire series is gonna be based on?

I'm really not sure the world needs another vampire TV series, but at least on HBO it might be well-done, and I'm eager to sample anything by Mr. Ball after American Beauty and Six Feet Under...
Old 10-28-05, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
From Variety this morning:
...but at least on HBO it might be well-done, and I'm eager to sample anything by Mr. Ball after American Beauty and Six Feet Under...
Agreed.
Old 10-28-05, 02:55 PM
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Never read (or even heard of) the books, but this sounds like a definitely must-see for me...
Old 10-28-05, 03:04 PM
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I don't care about vampires, but I do care about HBO and Alan Ball. It might also help that he will work with already existing plotlines.

I have no idea if that's going to be good or bad series but at least it will be interesting to find out.
Old 10-28-05, 03:26 PM
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Hopefully we'll see lots of gratuitous vampire nudity!

Last edited by Michael Ballack; 10-28-05 at 03:28 PM.
Old 10-28-05, 03:29 PM
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the books are great fun,nothing like Buffy or Angel.
Old 10-28-05, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by boogieman03
Agreed.
I like his stuff too but didnt he step back from writing Six Feet Under after a couple of years? It sure wasn't as good.

I bought one of the books a few months ago but havent read it yet.
Old 10-29-05, 08:23 AM
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I began reading two first books. So far - okay. Heroine's a little Mary Sueish. There are murders and mysteries.
Old 10-29-05, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Cruella
There are murders and mysteries.
So basically, we can expect a Southern "Murder She Wrote" w/ a vampire twist!
Old 10-29-05, 02:08 PM
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They have my attention though I'm unfamiliar with the books. I'll be checking this one out.
Old 10-29-05, 02:09 PM
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WOW. Are you kidding me? Charlaine Harris is honestly my favorite author right now. And Cruella, you have to read through to the fourth book, which was the best in my opinion.

First Jim Butcher's series, and now this. I'm in heaven.
Old 10-29-05, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Cruella
I began reading two first books. So far - okay. Heroine's a little Mary Sueish. There are murders and mysteries.
So is it kinda like Laurell K. Hamilton?
Old 10-29-05, 02:59 PM
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Never heard of the books, but this sounds promising.
Old 10-29-05, 04:32 PM
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Okay, I have no idea if Ball will follow the books closely, but as I'll say few words about the books - just a warning. I won't post any real spoilers, but just in case you are overtly sensitive to any possible little spoilers, you may not want to read this post. I don't want any problems.

Anyway, even without reading the books, lotsa more of info is avaliable on internet.

I'll definitely try to get my hands on the fourth book, thank you for recommendation sailor_moon. I finished first and in the middle of second.

I was a little underwhelmed, although the books are not bad by any means. I think Ball can improve on series with smarter dialogue and will probably create great atmosphere of small southern town. He'll also find great actress to play a heroine, Sookie.

I never read Hamilton, but from what I heard of her she's kinda crazy, almost believing herself to actually be Anita, and her books are more and more filled with wacky sexual adventures of her uber-sexy Mary Sue. So I suspect (and many critics agree) that Harris is head and shoulders above her. Harris does a good job of trying to keep series down-to-earth and somewhat free of vampire angst, even referencing Anne Rice in her books, her character is pretty down-to-earth, "normal" girl, although
Spoiler:
she's a telepath
and has romance with vampire. I think my biggest personal problem with the books is that it's too "girly" for my tastes. It's a first person narrative, story told by woman and her romantic relationship take too much time in the books for my liking. I wish there were more on social problems and vampiric society, although those are touched upon as well. For supernatural beings co-existing with humans I actually preffered online series Big City. Mostly because there are detective stories as well there and way less sex and he-loves-me/he-loves-me-not. It also didn't help that I read the books right after Neil Gaiman's short stories.

But yep, there are crimes, and some interesting intrigue that seems to improve in later books. And it's less cheesy than our beloved Murder, She Wrote.

It's going to be a long wait. Wouldn't it be cool if all HBO trademark authors created their vampire-themed series? My imaginations stops at "Undeadwood" where vampires curse a lot.
Old 10-30-05, 12:23 PM
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I too have never heard of the books, but will definitely seek them out. Sounds like a promising series and I'm confident that Ball and HBO can do it right.
Old 10-31-05, 01:56 AM
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this should be a killer series if Ball stays involved the whole way through and doesn't pass it off on less talented ppl
Old 10-31-05, 12:22 PM
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Vampires, Ball and HBO.. I'm SO in!!!
Old 10-31-05, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by riley_dude
I like his stuff too but didnt he step back from writing Six Feet Under after a couple of years? It sure wasn't as good.

I bought one of the books a few months ago but havent read it yet.

Ball never wrote for SFU full time. He created the characters and sproadically wrote an episode. He was always with the show and would never agree with something he didn't like.

Last edited by conscience; 10-31-05 at 01:01 PM.
Old 10-31-05, 01:48 PM
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Loved 6FU and have absolutely no interest in this genre hes now tackling.

Bummer
Old 10-31-05, 02:22 PM
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This does sound good. Although I just couldn't get into Rome, I eagerly await new HBO projects.
Old 11-01-05, 12:03 PM
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I just finished reading the second to last book (the one that's not in hard cover right now) and loved it, I think this series keeps getting better and better and the main character is becoming more interesting as she evolves. I will definitely look forward to this.

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