Series, exec produced by Alan Ball, raises cabler's profile

Cinemax has set a Jan. 11 premiere date for its new Alan Ball series “Banshee.”

Ten-episode series marks a big step for the HBO-owned pay cabler, as Ball departed “True Blood” to dedicate his time to “Banshee.” Ball is an HBO vet, having also created “Six Feet Under,” and his shift to Cinemax gives the net more gravitas than ever before.

“Banshee” stars Antony Starr as an ex-con and thief who assumes the identity of a local sheriff and is hunted by shadowy figures from his past.

Ball exec produces with “House” vet Greg Yaitanes, Peter Macdissi, Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler.

Cinemax series “Strike Back” will return for a third season in 2013, and “Hunted,” from “The X-Files” creator Frank Spotnitz, debuts Friday.

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