The series has spent some time in limbo, but HBO is pressing ahead with True Detective Season 3. It goes without saying at this point, but True Detective season 2 didn't live up to the massive expectations that were placed on it, thanks to the tremendous first season that preceded it. Sophomore slump be damned, True Detective is going to give it another go. And some very promising talent has just boarded the show's in-the-works third season.
According Entertainment Weekly, series creator Nic Pizzolatto is currently working on True Detective season 3 and has already written the first two episodes. Additionally, it is being reported that Deadwood creator David Milch has boarded the creative team and will lend his talents for the new season of True Detective. He has a good relationship with HBO and a great track record when it comes to TV projects, so having him on board can only serve to benefit the show. Details on his specific role in the production of True Detective season 3 were not revealed, but EW is saying that he is not expected to serve as the showrunner.
It is also very important to note that, according to this report from EW, HBO has not given the green light to these new episodes of True Detective. The show's second season did not do all that well with critics or fans, at least when compared to True Detective season 1, but it did do decent in the ratings department. Still, after the mixed reception to season 2, it left things a bit uncertain. So, even though Nic Pizzolatto is actively working on new episodes of the show, it is far from guaranteed that they will ever make it to air. In July of last year, HBO head of programming Casey Bloys did say that they were open to doing True Detective season 3 but, at least at the time, they didn't have a plan for it. Here is what he had to say.
"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."
Getting True Detective season 3 the actual green light would likely depend on the strength of the take that Nic Pizzolatto has in mind. True Detective has, up to this point, been done as an anthology series that features different characters from season to season. However, Matthew McConaughey did say last year that he would be open to reprising his role as Rust Cohle from season 1. Here is what he had to say about it on the Rich Eisen Show last June.
"I miss Rust Cohle, man. I miss watching him on Sunday nights. It would have to be the right context, the right way. That thing, when I read [the original script] I knew in 20 minutes if I can play this guy, Rustin Cohle, I'm in."
If Nic Pizzolatto's new episodes included Matthew McConaughey and maybe even Woody Harrelson's character from True Detective season 1, that might help give HBO the proper motivation to get the new season moving. Star power never hurts anything. It wasn't enough to save True Detective season 2, but bringing back the characters that everyone fell in love with in the first place would likely drum up a lot of interest. We'll have to wait and see how this all shakes out but, at least for now, True Detective season 3 is back on track.