'True Detective' Season 3 Officially a Go at HBO

It's official: HBO is moving forward with a third season of anthology True Detective.

Nic Pizzolatto will serve as the lone writer on the season save for David Milch, who co-wrote the fourth episode. (An episode count has not yet been revealed.)

Pizzolatto, who created the series, will serve as showrunner and direct alongside relative newcomer Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown will also be credited as exec producers.

Season three will tell the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods. 

As previously announced, Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) will topline season three as Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas.

"I'm tremendously thrilled to be working with artists at the level of Mahershala and Jeremy. I hope the material can do justice to their talents, and we're all very excited to tell this story," Pizzolatto, who has an overall deal with HBO, said Thursday in a statement.

HBO would not officially confirm that they were moving forward with a third season of True Detective until they found a director who would work with Pizzolatto on the series, which broke out after its freshman run but failed to win over critics with its polarizing second star-studded season. (The Hollywood Reporter chief TV critic Tim Goodman called it "confusing.")

"Nic has written truly remarkable scripts. With his ambitious vision and Mahershala Ali and Jeremy Saulnier aboard, we are excited to embark on the next installment of True Detective," said HBO programming president Casey Bloys.

Rumors have swirled for months about the future of True Detective. News leaked in March that Deadwood creator Milch was teaming with Pizzolatto on season three.

A premiere date has not yet been determined. Bloys said in July that Pizzolatto had almost the entirety of True Detective season three written — "I've read five scripts on the new season and I think they're terrific," the exec told reporters at TCA.

The True Detective revival comes as HBO is heading into 2018 likely without its highest-rated show in Game of Thrones (which probably won't be back until 2019), though Westworld — which wrapped in late 2016 — is set to return next year. HBO's drama lineup also consists of David Simon's The Deuce and the forthcoming Sharp Objects adaptation.

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