We often state that we don’t care about the ratings; either you watch it and love it or you don’t. HBO doesn’t seem to put much stock in them either but there are bean counters that do keep a track of those sort of thinks. Well, the numbers are in for Season Three of TRUE DETECTIVE with Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff. They work out to be a rather weak start for the third time out. The two episodes that kicked off the season on 01.13.19 drew in 1.44 million viewers at 9 PM and 1.19 million at 10 PM (Live+Same Day). According to Deadline, that was down sharply from the Season 2 debut in June 2015, which averaged 3.2 million viewers at 9 PM and 4.3 million for the night (L+SD), and also off from the January 2014 series opener in 2014 (2.3 million for the premiere).
Read what you want into that or ignore it. The bigger news is what Nic Pizzolatto, show creator, writer & showrunner had to say moving forward. He had an interview with EW (as noted in our premiere review) where he talked up Season Three and even revealed that he’s already considering ideas for a fourth season of the crime anthology series. Here are excerpts:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Just broadly, what excites you about this new season?
NIC PIZZOLATTO: The performances most of all, and especially what Mahershala does. I’ve been watching him since last February, and then in the editing room, and every time I watch him I catch another nuance of what he’s doing. It’s so subtle and so controlled. I’m blown away. I really think what he does here — as far as degree of difficulty for an actor, and how he pulled it off — is just amazing. And I’m excited by the story. It came to me spontaneously and organically and maybe moves towards a different sort of place and effect than the other seasons. But I just really think everyone’s performances are just off the charts with Mahershala doing stuff I’ve never seen before.
EW: Mahershala Ali has said that he was originally offered the secondary role, now played by Stephen Dorff. He lobbied you for the lead role and then, after some consideration, you agreed. How did that go on your end?
NP: I asked Mahershala, I said, “The story is about time and love and memory. I don’t want to ignore race, but I would hate for those larger themes to be subsumed because we’re suddenly telling a story that’s mostly about race.” And he said he didn’t want that. He said a lot of the roles that he’s offered — and that a lot of actors of color are offered — are centered around race. What he liked about this was this is a fully formed character who wasn’t defined by that. And I knew I’d be lucky to have an actor of his caliber.
EW: Is this season a mystery that’s actually solvable by the audience with all the pieces that are given by the finale?
NP: I don’t know. I think you could have an idea of what happened before those events are dramatized. But the full solution to everything that happened … maybe somebody could. I don’t think I could, but I’m not that smart.
EW: You probably hate being asked this at this stage, but do you plan to do a fourth season? How long do we have to wait this time?
NP: I dream of making a TV show where you have recurring characters and don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. After one of these I always feel so depleted. But I have to say … I have an idea.
EW: You do?
NP: Yeah, and it’s wild. It’s really, really wild. Where do you even go after this [season]? I just had a lead character who’s 35, 45 and 70 all at the same time and this mystery that has to reach false resolutions and keep going into the future without cheating the audience and all these complicated structural elements. But I have an idea that’s kind of crazy. I think it needs to percolate for a while. I was looking to do another series, maybe a movie, in the meantime, but yeah. I have an idea…
He has an idea. Are you a fan of TRUE DETECTIVE? Will you follow Season Three? Ae you game for Pizzolatto making a Season Four? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below.