‘True Detective’ Close To Season 3 Greenlight; Mahershala Ali Confirmed To Star

At HBO’s summer TCA presentation, president of programming Casey Bloys gave an update on the status of True Detective, which had been awaiting a Season 3 greenlight.

Bloys confirmed that Oscar-winning Moonlight actor Mahershala Ali has closed a deal to star in the potential third season of the anthology series. Bloys said he had read five finished scripts. “They are terrific. … I was very impressed and excited,” he said. “We are talking to directors, and when we have a director we want to hire, it will be a go.”

The Season 3 director will be new, with no lead helmers from previous seasons expected to return.

Bloys noted that a third season of True Detective is much further along than a potential second installment of The Night Of

Steven Zaillian has yet to pitch an idea to HBO. “The good news about Steven Zaillian is that he will come to you when he’s ready, and when he comes to us, we’ll know he’s locked.”

Fellow breakout HBO limited series Big Little Lies is in a similar situation, with author Lianne Moriarty approached by HBO and the producers and currently mulling ideas about a possible sequel.

A third installment of True Detective, from creator Nic Pizzolatto, has been in the works for a while, with HBO veteran David Milch coming on board earlier this year to work with Pizzolatto.

The first season of True Detective was very well received and became a cult phenomenon, landing a slew of awards and nominations and triggering a swift renewal. The drama also earned a quick-turnaround second installment, which drew mixed reaction from critics and fans.

Asked about lessons HBO brass had learned from the fast-tracked second season, Bloys pointed to giving more time for writing scripts as something they corrected for Season 3.

Ali won a supporting actor Oscar for his role in Best Picture winner Moonlight. His TV work includes a praised role as Remy Danton in Netflix’s House of Cards and a recent recurring gig on Luke Cage. He’s repped by WME and Anonymous Content.