Will 'True Detective' Season 3 Ever Happen?

by S. Atkinson

Forget poor Dora Lange and let's dismiss the not-so-mysterious death of Ben Caspere. True Detective's critical arc was probably the biggest mystery the show ever gave audiences to solve. Barring Twin Peaks, has any show ever gone from so critically-acclaimed to widely dismissed over the course of just two seasons? After the broad critical dismissal of the show, fans were left wondering whether there would ever be a Season 3. And they can take some reassurance from the latest news from HBO, because the premium cable network just announced that, yes, True Detective Season 3 could still happen.

HBO programming chief Casey Bloys was asked about True Detective Season 3 at the Television Critics Association's press tour in Beverly Hills on Saturday, July 30. His answer? In short: that the series was a successful one, and they're not ruling out a third season. He said: “It is not dead. I talked to Nic about it and both Nic and HBO are open to another season. I don’t think Nic has a take and he’s working on some other projects. We’re open to somebody else writing it and Nic supervising it. It’s a valuable franchise, it’s not dead, we just don’t have a take for a third season yet.” Thank goodness.

This doesn't even sound like a "maybe" to me. This sounds like a clear "probably." Let's check off the points: writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto and HBO are both into it, Nic Pizzolatto has other projects but HBO is OKing someone else penning it as long as he gets to supervise the script, and Bloys acknowledges it's valuable. His only implied "but" is that they don't have any ideas for a third season yet, but this doesn't seem like an insurmountable obstacle once they have a writer onboard. No, what really seems like the million dollar question is if they would return to the Season 1 model of one director overseeing the whole series.

In Season 1, Beasts Of No Nation's Cary Fukunaga directed the whole thing solo. His departure wasn't due to anything dramatic, but was part and parcel of how they'd pitched the show. He told Variety, “The whole pitch was that in a true anthology, we want to sit it on a shelf, and every season we have a new feature director and make this wonderful miniseries." But in the second series, Pizzolatto oversaw a rotating cast of directors, which led to differing styles. This isn't a bad thing, of course — Game of Thrones often does this — but one director worked for True Detective because it always felt like one long movie rather than a series. It would be smart for HBO to find a director of Fukunaga's caliber to helm the third series. Surely this and this alone will be the most important factor in whether we get a True Detective Season 3.

Images: HBO (3)