True Detective Renewed For Season 5; Issa Lopez to Stay On as Showrunner Amid Nic Pizzolatto Controversy

Spoilers

Get ready to return to the scene of the crime, True Detective fans.

HBO execs announced today that they’ve renewed the network’s flagship crime drama for a fifth season.

Issa Lopez, who helmed the season that wrapped up last week, will be returning as showrunner.

“Issa Lopez is that one-of-a-kind, rare talent that speaks directly to HBO’s creative spirit,” said HBO’s head of drama Francesca Orsi, in a statement issued today.

“She helmed True Detective: Night Country from start to finish, never once faltering from her own commendable vision, and inspiring us with her resilience both on the page and behind the camera,” Orsi added.

Navarro Closes In - True Detective Season 4 Episode 3

“Alongside Jodie [Foster] and Kali [Reis]’ impeccable performances, she’s made this installation of the franchise a massive success, we are so lucky to have her as part of our family.”

If the reaction on social media is any indication, the final episode of True Detective Season 4 left fans divided, with some bemoaning the perceived plot holes and ambiguous ending, and others declaring the arrival of a modern TV classic.

But Night Country received mostly positive reviews, and, more important to HBO’s decision to renew, it was the most-watched season of True Detective in the series’ history.

But the mixed response to the finale isn’t the only recent controversy surrounding True Detective.

Danvers in the Snow - True Detective Season 4 Episode 4

When it premiered back in 2014, True Detective Season 1 became an instant cultural phenomenon.

Creator Nic Pizzolatto helmed two more seasons that weren’t nearly as well-received, and few were shocked when HBO announced its decision to go in a different direction for season four.

Pizzolatto didn’t take the news well, and after blasting the show’s season premiere on Twitter, he took to social media to share his thoughts a second time following last Sunday’s finale.

“TRUE DETECTIVE AGGREGATE POST,” he wrote on Instagram.

“[T]his here is the place for all your trolling/support/infighting around True Detective and the absolute moral degeneracy and misogyny of anyone who did not think it was good,” Pizzolatto added.

Woody Harrelson on True Detective Season 1

“I’d say ‘stay civil,’ but of course civility has no place when criticism of a television show indicates some form of Hitlerian evil that must be stamped out. So roll on, tide. Satire is welcome, and do try to have a nice day.”

As far as we can tell, the women who are chiefly responsible for Night Country’s feminist take on Pizzolatto’s franchise are mostly unbothered by his sarcasm-drenched criticism.

“That’s a damn shame,” actress Kali Reis wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in response to Pizzolatto’s remarks.

“But hey I guess ‘if you don’t have anything good to share, shit on others’ is the new wave lol.”

As for what will come next for this consistency-challenged series, that remains to be seen.

Danvers in the Evidence Room - True Detective Season 4 Episode 3

Lopez has already indicated that she will not be returning to the terrain of Night Country and will instead follow in Pizzolatto’s footsteps by taking an anthology approach and telling a new story in a new setting.

But the TV newcomer has already bucked the trend of earlier seasons by trying the events of True Detective Season 4 into the story of season one protagonists Rust Cohle and Marty Hart, something that Pizzolatto refused to do in his subsequent seasons.

(It’s been rumored that HBO execs implored the creator to create some link between the seasons, but Pizzolatto just wasn’t having it.)

If Lopez can once again break from Pizzolatto’s pattern by delivering a second season that’s as well-regarded as her first, she might win both bragging rights and the title of HBO’s new favorite showrunner.

Tyler Johnson is an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic and the other Mediavine O&O sites. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and, of course, watching TV. You can Follow him on X and email him here at TV Fanatic.

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