Why True Detective Season Two "Failed", According to HBO Boss

Michael Lombardo opens up.


For many viewers and critics, the second season of HBO's cop thriller True Detective was something of a failure, especially considering the acclaim that season one received. Now Michael Lombardo, president of programming for the cable network, has spoken frankly about why the show did not live up to expectations.

No Caption Provided

In an interview with The Frame, Lombardo addressed the time pressures that he placed upon the second season.

"When we tell somebody to hit an air date as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it's ready, when it's baked--we've failed," he admitted. "And I think in this particular case, the first season of True Detective was something that [writer] Nic Pizzolatto had been thinking about, gestating, for a long period of time. He's a soulful writer.

"I think what we did was go, 'Great.' And I take the blame. I became too much of a network executive at that point. We had huge success. 'Gee, I'd love to repeat that next year.'

"Well, you know what? I set him up. To deliver, in a very short time frame, something that became very challenging to deliver. That's not what that show is. He had to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Find his muse. And so I think that's what I learned from it. Don't do that anymore."

The second season of the show starred Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Rachel McAdams. Even at its viewer peak, it fell short of what season one had achieved. The final episode was watched by an audience of 2.73 million in April, a 22% drop from the season one finale the previous year.

While a third season of True Detective is yet to be confirmed, last November Pizzolatto signed an exclusive deal to develop further projects with HBO.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 33 comments about this story