True Detective may not have a confirmed second season, but with the impressive ratings and critical acclaim the Matthew McConaughey and Wood Harrelson-fronted drama is a likely contender for HBO’s renewal game. Add to that the recent announcement that the network has inked a new two-year overall deal with series creator Nic Pizzolatto, and well, it’s not hard to see the ever-increasing likelihood that we’re to get a part two of the sweeping crime affair.

The news, first reported by Deadline, is not all that unexpected, given the fact that True Detective was the network’s most-watched series debut in over three years with 7.7 million viewers to date. The combination of impressive talent, a solid script, and incredibly intricate and haunting visual storytelling is hard to beat, especially when championed by the it’s-not-TV network. No wonder everyone loves it.

But if you’re hoping for a reprise from Harrelson and McConaughey, you’ll be woefully disappointed, as both actors have previously indicated they would not appear in future installments. “It’s contained, that’s it,” explained McConaughey. Instead, Pizzolatto images a more American Horror Story-esque approach to the series’ mini-seasons. “If we got to do it again, the setting would be a major character, along with our leads,” the creator explained at the Television Criticis Association winter tour earlier this month.

Pizzolatto’s story is an inspiring and impressive one for screenwriter hopefuls everywhere. Prior to True Detective, the scribe was in academics. After nabbing a staff writer job on The Killing in 2010, he subsequently drafted the crime drama on spec, inciting an impressive bidding war for its 8-episode first season two years ago.

“I tried to make the format as broad for my tastes as possible … Even the title, True Detective, is meant to be, of course, purposefully somewhat generic – the word ‘true’ can also mean honorable and authentic and things like that,” he explained. “So as long as there is some crime in there, I think the series format can approach it.”

Which makes the McConaughey and Harrelson match-up essentially “the True Detective version of a buddy?cop movie hunting for a serial killer. And there could be a season that’s much more of a widespread conspiracy thriller, a season that’s a small?town murder mystery, a season where nobody is murdered and it’s a master criminal versus a rogue detective or something.”

This season of the series focuses squarely on Louisiana state police detectives Rust Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Harrelson) as they attempt to solve an occultist serial killer case in the mid-1990s. Hopping back and forth between 1995 and modern day, the two detectives are roped into the reopening of a case almost 20 years dead. The series does a particularly impressive job of combining premise and character with Cohle — an extremist former undercover narcotics cop whose past work has caused flashback hallucinations and a bit of a social disconnect when it comes to interpersonal relationships — and Hart — a more old boys’ club, drinking, philandering family man that loves to follow the rules — complicated relationship at the center of the show.

True Detective airs Sundays at 9PM on HBO.
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