HBO Chief On “True Detective” Dissing, S3

The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was unanimously praised, but the second has become something of a punching bag. Initial critical reviews were decent, but as the tide of social media opinion turned against the series, so too have the critics and turned it into the summer’s most “hate-watchable” show.

With HBO conducting its Television Critics Association tour presentation yesterday, it was inevitable that programming president Michael Lombardo was going to be asked about the reaction. Lombardo says that he didn’t expect the first or second season to draw such a big audience, and that the new season’s numbers have climbed to an average 12 million viewers per episode this season – up one million on last year.

Talking about the quality of the show itself, he tells E! Online and THR:

“I think the show works. First of all, I think you need to watch the entirety of it. I have and I think it’s enormously satisfying…

I think Nic is a very – adventurous is not the right word – he’s a bold storyteller. I mean that only in the most positive of ways. I think he takes risks in how he lays out a story, in the pacing of stories and I think it pays off in this particular season.

[He] is one of the best writers working in television and motion pictures today. I think he takes a big swing. I think the show ends with as satisfying an end as any show I’ve seen.”

So is Lombardo keen on doing another season on the network?

“I have already called him and said, ‘Nic, if you want to do a season three, let’s start talking. I’m not calling him to say, ‘Let’s talk about season three if you follow some rules of mine.’ That’s not a conversation I’m ever interested in having or think I need to have with Nic. What he’s doing on True Detective is so much bolder and braver and ultimately, for me, satisfying, that I would happily be in business with him for a very long time.”

Two more episodes remain in the current second season run with the seventh to air this coming Sunday.