HBO is keeping Nic Pizzolatto in the fold with a third consecutive overall deal that would keep the True Detective creator at the pay cable network through 2018. The pact would cover possible new installments of the thriller drama franchise as well as new projects.

More than three months after the second season of True Detective ended its run to mixed reaction, there had been chatter about HBO looking to do a thirdImage (5) hbologo3__140528151602.png for post 736757 cycle of the show but no formal decision one way or another. Back in July, HBO Programming president Michael Lombardo made it clear that the call whether to go on or not would be Pizzolatto’s. “If he wants to do another season, I said the door is open, we’d like to do another season of it,” he said. At that time, Lombardo spoke very highly of Pizzolatto, something he also echoed today in his comments on the writer’s new HBO deal.

“I am thrilled to continue our relationship with Nic, as he is one of the most exceptionally talented writers and producers working today,” Lombardo said. “I look forward to seeing where his unique creative vision will take us next.”

True Detective Shakes Up Drama Emmy Contenders RacePizzolatto’s first overall deal with HBO came more than four years ago. It helped the premium cable network land the eight-episode first installment of True Detective in a bidding war. The bet on the novelist — who at the time had only one TV credit, a staff writer job on AMC’s The Killing, before writing True Detective on spec — paid off, with Season 1, directed by Cary Fukunaga, becoming a pop culture phenomenon, garnering critical praise and strong viewership. HBO renewed Pizzolatto’s overall deal in early 2014, paving the way for the Season 2 pickup of True Detective, which followed.

While critics’ reaction has been all over the matruedetectivefinalep, in viewership, Season 2 of True Detective, which starred Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch, was in line with the breakout first season toplined by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. True Detective remains one of HBO’s most watched shows of all time, with cumulative viewers averaging 11 million across Season 2, just a tad below season one’s 12 million.

Season one of True Detective won Best Drama Series and Best New Series at the Writers Guild of America Awards and was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Pizzolatto is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.