Though Season 2 of HBO’s anthology series True Detective was nowhere near as universally praised as the occult-driven Season 1, that doesn’t mean that viewers aren’t still interested in seeing where this series will go in the future. Even though nothing is set in stone just yet, HBO has roped in show creator Nic Pizzolatto for a multi-year overall deal, which means Season 3 is basically a sure thing, even if Pizzolatto might not be as heavily involved.

The deal Pizzolatto signed will keep him with HBO through 2018, which means we might get many more years of True Detective, as the network is apparently more interested in securing future installments than Pizzolatto is in banging them out. Because he’s been hesitant to give a definite answer about moving forward, HBO has a selection of options for how Season 3 and beyond could go.

According to Variety, one of HBO’s offers gives Pizzolatto the chance avoid tackling the screenwriting alone, and presents the choice for him to work with different writers. As well, the network says that Pizzolatto can also take a step down in the showrunner department, which would allow someone else to come in and take the brunt of the week-to-week work. Or, of course, he could just do as he has for the first two seasons and knock out all the scripts and showrunning duties himself. Any way it goes, Pizzolatto would still be on board as an executive producer.

HBO doesn’t seem willing to just rock back and forth on their heels for much longer either. It appears execs are trying to push Pizzolatto into making a decision sooner rather than later, so that the steps can be taken to turn Season 3 into a reality. It was around this time last year that Season 2 went into production, so it’s likely that if this hemming and hawing takes much longer, the next season might air later than expected; Season 2 aired more than 15 months after Season 1 ended, so the schedule adjustment is nothing new.

Despite a drop in critical and audience approval for the Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams-led second season, the ratings and viewership were definitely good enough to keep HBO interested in future installments. Even though the numbers weren’t averaging out to be quite as good as the ratings for Season 1, a ton of people were tuning in, both during the live airings and through DVR and online viewing.

So again, while the ink isn’t drying on the contracts just yet, we can probably feel safe in going forward with dreaming about what cast members we’d want to see in Season 3, and what directors we want behind the camera.

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