Ball — whose play, All That I Will Ever Be, was seen at New York Theatre Workshop last season — had much success with his previous HBO series, "Six Feet Under."
His new work, based on the novel series "Southern Vampire" by Charlaine Harris, is set in a small town in Louisiana. The program, according to the industry paper, "follows the world of vampires, who are able to co-exist with humans by drinking a Japanese-manufactured synthetic blood. The show contains a dose of humor alongside the horror."
Ball wrote and directed the series pilot, which features Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell, Stephen Moyer, Brook Kerr, Carrie Preston and Michael Raymond-James. No air date has been announced, although Ball has already written several additional episodes. Production is expected to begin some time this fall.
Paquin will play a waitress named Sookie Stackhouse, who falls for a vampire played by Moyer.
Creator Ball will produce "True Blood" with HBO. Prior to achieving Hollywood fame as the screenwriter of the Oscar-winning "American Beauty," Ball was an Off-Broadway playwright. His most notable credit was Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, which played at MCC Theatre in 1993. The cast included Allison Janney.