'True Blood' season 5 is barely dead in the ground following last week's gripping season finale "Save Yourself," but already speculation has run rampant on the next season.  Behind the cameras, we know that longtime show-runner Alan Ball will depart the series for his new Cinemax venture 'Banshee,' leaving the 'True Blood' reigns to writer Mark Hudis, who already has gallons of story to spill.  Brace yourselves though, as 'True Blood' season 6 might feel a bit lighter than we're all used to, but why?

Between "Billith," Tara and Pam hooking up, Warlow and Andy's litter of half-faerie children, 'True Blood' has a lot of ground to cover for season 6, but apparently less episodes to do it in.  Speaking to TVGuide on his departure from the series, show-runner Alan Ball revealed that 'True Blood' season 6 will receive a reduced order of only 10 episodes, down from the show's traditional twelve!  So, why the change?

Fans may have noticed a little less skin from series star Anna Paquin this year, increasingly shot from the shoulders up as season 5 went on, as the actress became visibly further along in her pregnancy with co-star Stephen Moyer.  Rather than pick up production of 'True Blood' season 6 in November after the star gives birth, Ball revealed in his interview that the schedule had been pushed to January to accommodate her.  Even more-so, Ball elaborated on the reason for the 10-episode order as "partly because of Anna and partly because of the economics."

'True Blood' season 5 certainly came in on par with its high ratings, the finale averaging about 6.3 million viewers, so don't expect the reduced season 6 order to be a herald of the end for the sexy vampire series just yet, however.

What say you?  Are you sad to learn that 'True Blood' season 6 will have fewer episodes, or do you think a tighter format and a new show-runner will be a renaissance for the series?  Tell us what you're most looking forward to about 'True Blood' season 6 in the comments!

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