EXCLUSIVE: Alan Ball, creator/executive producer of HBO’s hit vampire drama series True Blood, is getting another series, this time on HBO’s sister network Cinemax. Cinemax has given a 10-episode order to Banshee, an action drama executive produced by Ball and written by authors Jonathan Tropper (This Is Where I Leave You), and David Schickler (Kissing in Manhattan). Emmy-winning director Greg Yaitanes (House) has come on board to helm the first episode of the series, which centers around an ex-convict and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, PA, where he continues his criminal activities even as he’s being hunted by the shadowy gangsters he had betrayed years earlier. Yaitanes will also serve as an executive producer on the series alongside Ball, Tropper, Schickler and Peter Macdissi.
Banshee, which had been described as Walking Tall meets History of Violence, landed at Cinemax via HBO where the project was originally developed. It was put on a fast track last summer when Ball began assembling a writing staff. The actioner will start shooting this spring on location in and around Charlotte, North Carolina for a 2013 premiere. Bell will juggle production on both Banshee and True Blood, which is now filming Season 5. At Cinemax, Banshee joins a growing slate of original action drama series, including Strike Back, which has been renewed for a second season, the upcoming Nemesis starring Melissa George and a series version of The Transporter movie franchise, whose production was paused after star Chris Vance was injured.