HBO’s True Detective became a phenomenon as soon as it started airing in January 2014. The crime drama series drew critical acclaim for its performances, its visual style and the way Nic Pizzolatto weaves a complicated mystery narrative.

Why was True Detective 3 Delayed?

The first season set in Louisiana follows a pair of Louisiana State Police homicide detectives, Rustin “Rust” Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin “Marty” Hart (Woody Harrelson).

Cohle and Hart, who investigated prostitute Dora Lange’s murder in 1995, must revisit the investigation 17 years later along with other unsolved crimes and their own disturbed lives. Exploring the themes of philosophical pessimism, Christianity and masculinity, the show’s first season went on to be a major TV event, garnering strong rating and 12 Emmy nods.

Actor Mahershala Ali in the series True Detective

However, the second season became a bit controversial, which gave birth to #TrueDetectiveSeason2 meme in the process and drew sharp negative reviews. The season 2 set in California focused on the intertwining stories of officers from three departments focusing on the mysterious death of corrupt city manager, Ben Caspere.

Now, three and a half years after it’s season 2 premiere, True Detective has returned for third season. The long-awaited season resurfaces in a dramatically changed TV ecosystem, reshaped with the support of some big names, who have helped reshape the limited series. But, what took it so long for season 3? Why was HBO willing to revive the series after a long absence?

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Since the President of HBO Entertainment, Casey Bloys, took over as the head of drama in Jan 2016, he has been answering all the chattering surrounding the series’ new season. After a long inquiry about whether or not Pizzolatto wanted to write another season, it was revealed in March 2017 that he had penned some scripts collaborating with David Milch.

The season 3 was greenlit in Aug 2017 and production started in early 2018 with Mahershala Ali in lead role as detective Wayne Hays and Stephen Dorff as Detective Roland West. Bloys had said that they were having many problems and weren’t sure that they were going to do a third season. But, the lack of certainty had nothing to do with the network’s interest in keeping the show alive.

Though the second season was critically panned, it was still a hit with 10.9m people tuning in, just 8% drop in viewership from the first season’s 11.9 million. Bloys said about season 3 making,

“There’s a lot of interest around this title for our subscribers. We had a conversation with Nic, which was, let’s take our time and get this right. Let’s get a pass that we’re really excited about. And let’s not rush to do it, just to do it. I don’t think Nic had any interest in doing that, nor did we.”

Nic Pizzolatto wearing a suit

A key reason why all parties involved may have opted to go for a slow-approach is because the season 2 was rushed into production prematurely. Recently, Pizzolatto said that he had to put some distance between himself and True Detective’ before going back to the police show beat. He stated,

“There was just a lot of stuff going on with me, health-wise and personally, during and after season two. I had sort of put True Detective on a shelf. I was working on something else for HBO during most of 2016.”

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Mahershala’s character, Wayne is a man suffering from dementia looking back on his life, taking account of what a toll the case takes on his life. After Mahershala took up the lead role and Jeremy Saulnier came onboard to direct a few episodes, True Detective season 3 was officially go. 

True Detective is an anthology with a self-contained storyline and new characters every season. Season 3 is set in Arkansas. Now, it’s uncertain if viewers still care about the series or not, but executives, assure viewers it has returned with a compelling story after three and a half years. While the executives aren’t keen to greenlight things just to fill time, Bloys has said that he and Pizzolatto have got some ideas for season 4 as well.

How excited are you for True Detective season 3? Let us know in the comment below.

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