After a zeitgeist-defining freshman season that arrived smack dab in the middle of the McConaissance, general consensus is that True Detective kind of went off the rails in Season 2, and HBO has yet to greenlight Nic Pizzolatto’s buzzy anthology series for Season 3. 

But a third outing is inching closer to reality, according to EW, which reports that Emmy-winning writer-producer David Milch (creator of Deadwood and NYPD Blue) “is coming on board to work with Pizzolatto.” 

Pizzolatto, who created the show and has written every episode so far (sharing co-writing credit with Scott Lasser for two episodes in Season 2), has reportedly finished the first two scripts for a prospective third season. 

While the show hasn’t been officially renewed yet, HBO boss Casey Bloys told reporters that the network was still very much interested in continuing the series during the Television Critics Association summer press tour last July — although at the time, he noted that Pizzolatto hadn’t settled on a new story idea yet. 

“It is not dead. I’ve talked to Nic about it, and I think both Nic and HBO, we’re open to a third season,” Bloys said. “I think it’s fair to say I don’t think Nic has a take. He is working on some other projects. But we’re open to somebody else writing it, with Nic supervising it … it’s a really valuable franchise for us. I think both seasons averaged about 11 million viewers an episode. So not dead, just I’m not sure we have the right take for a third season yet.”

There’s no word on the extent of Milch’s involvement, and HBO declined to comment on EW’s report, but it’s worth noting that True Detective was Pizzolatto’s first foray into running a series, while Milch has decades of producing experience under his belt, including creating three shows for HBO: Deadwood, John from Cincinnati and Luck, although the latter two were both canceled after one season.

Still, a rookie could find a worse partner to hit the mean streets with than the man best known for gritty crime dramas and prestige HBO fare — and their collaboration might hold us over until Milch can get his long-awaited Deadwood revival back on track.

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