×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HBO’s Michael Lombardo Takes Blame for ‘True Detective’s’ Season 2 Struggle

HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said the short deadlines he imposed on “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto were to blame for the poor audience reaction to the second installment of the anthology series.

“Well, you know what? I set him up. To deliver, in a very short time frame, something that became very challenging to deliver,” Lombardo recently said on KPCC’s The Frame. “That’s not what that show is. He had to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Find his muse. And so I think that’s what I learned from it. Don’t do that anymore.”

The first season of “True Detective” earned five Emmy Awards and was nominated for seven others — including acting noms for leads Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and for Pizzolatto for writing. Lombardo said in the interview that he attributed this to the fact that “Pizzolatto had been thinking about [it], gestating, for a long period of time.”

The second season debuted a year later and suffered in the press. Variety critic Brian Lowry wrote of the second season premiere that fans should “temper their enthusiasm” that year and, upon the finale, called it a “major disappointment – not just compared to the original, but on its own turgid terms.”

“He’s a soulful writer,” Lombardo said of Pizzolatto. “I think what we did was go, ‘Great.’ And I take the blame [for season two]. I became too much of a network executive at that point. We had huge success. ‘Gee, I’d love to repeat that next year.’”

Lombardo had previously praised Pizzolatto’s work at last summer’s Television Critics Association press tour, where he said he did not want to be “micro-managing the process.”

HBO recently signed an overall deal with Pizzolatto that would keep the scribe with the premium cabler through 2018. It has not announced whether “True Detective” will be back for a third season.

More TV

  • rachel brosnahan Variety Cover Story

    Rachel Brosnahan Signs First-Look Deal With Amazon Studios

    Rachel Brosnahan is deepening her relationship with Amazon. The “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star has signed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios, under which she and her Scrap Paper Pictures production company will develop TV series exclusively for Amazon’s streaming platform. Brosnahan has won several awards for her performance as Midge Maisel, including an Emmy Award [...]

  • Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton

    'Yellowstone' Season 2 Premiere Ratings More Than Double in Delayed Viewing

    The Season 2 premiere of “Yellowstone” more than doubled its Live+Same Day numbers in Live+3. According to Nielsen data, the premiere last Wednesday rose to a 0.98 rating in adults 18-49 and just over 5 million total viewers after three days of playback. That is up 115% in the demo and 109% in viewers from [...]

  • Malaka

    Conecta Fiction 2019: 10 Takeaways

    MADRID  —  The 3rd Conecta Fiction, Europe’s biggest Latin American TV co-production forum, wrapped last week in Pamplona after four days of dealing, debate and gastronomic delectation. Following 10 Takeaways from an intense and buoyant event, driven by the unfaltering growth of high-end production in Spain and most of Latin America: 1.PLATFORM PIVOT  The writing [...]

  • THE L WORD GENERATION Q Cast

    'L Word' Follow Up at Showtime Adds Four Series Regulars

    The upcoming “L Word” sequel series at Showtime is rounding out its main cast. Arienne Mandi, Leo Sheng, Jacqueline Toboni, and Rosanny Zayas have all been cast in series regular roles. They join returning original series stars and executive producers Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey. Mandi will play Dani Nùñez, described as a [...]

  • Comic-Con 2019 TV Schedule

    Comic-Con 2019 TV Schedule: When Are Your Favorite Shows Taking Over San Diego?

    This year’s San Diego Comic-Con has a feast of TV show panels and special screenings for fans. To keep you updated on the happenings this year, Variety is compiling a master list of the experiences for the July 17 to July 21 pop culture convention. Warner Bros. Television Studios was the first to announce its schedule, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content