Nic Pizzolatto

The makers of HBO’s “True Detective” have evidently decided a plot based in the South is a potential sweet spot. After a heralded first season set in Louisiana and starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the show’s second season, set in L.A.,  bombed with audiences and critics (Quentin Tarantino, for example.) Despite that reception, the show’s been cleared for a third season, a mystery that “will deepen over decades and play out in three separate time periods” in Northwest Arkansas, according to USA Today.

Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight,” “House of Cards”) has been announced as the lead, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas named Wayne Hays. Little Rock writer Graham Gordy (“Rectify,” “Quarry”) will be working on the season.


Creator Nic Pizzolatto, who went to graduate school at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, will direct and, according to Deadline, will be the sole writer, save for an episode co-written with David Milch. More from Deadline:

“I’m tremendously thrilled to be working with artists at the level of Mahershala and Jeremy,” Pizzolatto said. “I hope the material can do justice to their talents, and we’re all very excited to tell this story.” Pizzolatto, who also serves as showrunner, executive produces with Saulnier and returning executive producers Scott Stephens; Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, who toplined Season 1; Cary Joji Fukunaga, who directed Season 1; Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown. Coincidentally, the Ozarks also is the setting of Netflix’s new crime thriller drama “Ozark,” which was just renewed for a second season.