‘True Detective’ Season 3 Still Up in the Air as HBO Inks Deal with Nic Pizzolatto Through 2018

True Detective Season 3 HBO
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

HBO has inked an overall deal with “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto through 2018, Variety has learned. Under the new pact, a number of new projects from Pizzolatto are being considered, including future installments of “True Detective,” though a third season is still not a sure thing.

However, the deal paves the way for a go-ahead decision for another season of “True Detective.” Sources say HBO has been looking to make a change in the way the show is run, given the critical response to the second season, and has presented Pizzolatto with a number of options. Those options include: him working with a staff of writers, having a new showrunner come in, as well as him going it alone again. In all scenarios, he would remain an exec producer.

Sources say HBO has been pressing Pizzolatto for an answer so they can move forward with production on the show.

The breakout season of “True Detective,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, quickly garnered critical acclaim and become a pop culture phenomenon, earning Emmy nominations for outstanding drama series, writing and lead actor for both McConaughey and Harrelson.

The sophomore season, starring Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams, has been reviewed as disappointing, slammed by both critics and fans.

“Those expecting anything approaching the magic conjured by the original Matthew McConaughey-Woody Harrelson pairing should immediately temper their enthusiasm for ‘True Detective’s’ second season, Variety‘s Brian Lowry said in his Season 2 review. “Although generally watchable, the inspiration that turned the first into an obsession for many seems to have drained out of writer Nic Pizzolatto’s prose, at least three hours into this eight-episode run.”

Despite less-than-stellar reception, “True Detective’s second run ended up averaging more same-night viewers (2.61 million) than Season 1 (2.33 million), according to Nielsen. But that was due to a big tune-in for the first couple of weeks of Season 2. The finale of the second season averaged 2.71 million, while the conclusion of the first drew a series-best 3.52 million, according to Nielsen.

In multi-platform gross viewing, an estimated 11.9 million viewers watched Season 1 on a weekly basis, according to HBO, while 11.3 million watched Season 2, indicating that viewers seemed more passionate about the original installment.

“I am thrilled to continue our relationship with Nic, as he is one of the most exceptionally talented writers and producers working today,” said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming. “I look forward to seeing where his unique creative vision will take us next.”

Pizzolatto has been under an overall deal with the premium cabler since 2014, the year “True Detective” debuted.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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  1. In India varied political matter are telecasted and it also telecasts the assorted moments of Loksabha’s query hour.

  2. M L HARRELL says:

    I like True Detective, I thought both seasons were good, not Great. I am a fan of Matthew though. Season 2 was not that bad. Became more I no where this is going than OMG. Het Both Seasons is better than watching re-runs of Seinfeld and the way HBO hacked the Sopranos

  3. Velcoro Lives says:

    I loved season 2. I’m disappointed that the critics have put this show’s future in doubt. Let the creator make his art unchecked. Its always going to be better than anyone else having a say in direction or content.

  4. Raou says:

    For season 3 why not continue on from season 1? Catch the whole Tuttle family clan. Problem with True Detective, they never catch the big fish.

  5. David says:

    Hate to criticize the critics, but I thought Season 2 was every bit as good as Season 1. It was different in so many ways–it’s really difficult to compare the two. Season 2, though, was definitely not a flop.

    • john says:

      No way, not even close. The acting was great but the writing was choppy, slow, and disconnected. I kept trying to like season two, but I couldn’t get there.

  6. Stephen Craig says:

    Season 3: Shia Lebouf, Tom Hardy. Investigating an Organized international child sex trade.

  7. Lisa says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed season 2 of True Detective . I enjoyed all of the main characters and the Actors . I think there should be a continuation of that story where the two main characters miraculously survive!

  8. James says:

    I think TD should focus on the bizarre and macabre murders in the history of America. That is the essence of TD, in my humble opinion.

    • nevermind says:

      Definitely! That’s what was so creepy and what really made S1. And of course, the suspense of never really knowing if either of the lead characters were the killer… Hire Tom Hardy and Ethan Hawke for the 3rd season and get back to it.

  9. Willis says:

    Season Two had it’s own identity and should be immune to the destructive criticism and be seen as a decent follow up to a strong first year and create excitement for what is next………it is a work in progress. Let’s have a little perspective…………

    • Velcoro Lives says:

      Agree completely Willis. “Going back” the storylines of the first season shows a complete lack of vision and undermines the creator’s intentions with the series. People are just dim.

  10. Lister says:

    Season two was an exercise in ego and had a self-congratulatory tone all over it. I can write anything I want and they’ll like it… I can rip off Heat but no one will notice… I can start a premise without ever resolving it…. I can “Breaking Bad” it kill off all my male protagonists and it’ll come off as being awesome because it was awesome in Breaking Bad. Face it Nic, you might have done well with the first season but TV is a collaborative art. You need other people correct bad or weak elements in your story. The 2nd Season of Fargo is basically what Season 2 of True Detective should have been and they brought in other writers for that show.

  11. brittney says:

    the season was just so confusing… even when they alluded to who the killer was.. i was like “who??” too many characters, weird dialog, and just an overall sense of wtf is going on. but thats just my opinion lol

  12. Anon says:

    I liked the creepiness horror like of season 1 and of course the actors. Season 2 just felt like a normal cop show and bad choice of actors.

  13. N!DH! says:

    Season 1 was hit because it was directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who is an exceptionally talented director. He did everything right in 1st season right from casting to cinematography and that is why he won Emmy for best director. HBO should hire him again!

  14. Mike says:

    They should have left the 8 episode mini-series True Detective alone.
    They should have given “season 2” a different name.
    They should have just said “From the writer of TD”.
    They should do this now.

    Just let Nic write a different mini-series or movie.

  15. Jake says:

    I think it would be good if they got another writer to help with some of the dialog. Also the endings of both seasons were a bit underwhelming. I hope they get one good director to do the whole season like the first.

  16. Sandytoo says:

    “…given the critical response to the second season”? Ummm, that’s because Season 2 SUCKED.

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