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True Detective doesn’t have a third season yet, despite having an Oscar-winning actor

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HBO is still working on it

Actor Mahershala Ali arrives at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

Despite everything you might have read or heard about, True Detective does not have a third season.

Yesterday, HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, confirmed that Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Luke Cage) had signed onto the third season of the show ... but never actually confirmed the third season is happening. Bloys said he had read five scripts that were very promising and, even without a director or confirmed executive producer on board to run the show, it was looking very promising.

There’s a difference, however, between very promising and confirming the show is in development.

True Detective is a fascinating example of what can happen when everything goes horribly wrong. After an award-winning, critically acclaimed first season, the sophomore followup was panned by critics and audiences for its lack of direction. Show creator Nick Pizzolatto was essentially removed from all future showrunning duties on the show and took time to focus on other projects for the network after inking an overall deal.

For a while, it seemed like the future of True Detective was up in the air. Then in March, Bloys gave the first update in some time that suggested True Detective would return to the network after all.

“I don’t have anything on paper yet but I know there are some ideas going back and forth,” Bloys said at the Television Critics Association conference, as reported by Variety. “I don’t want to rush it. I don’t want to do anything just to get it on the air.”

That same month, Entertainment Weekly reported that HBO had picked up the show for a third season, but the network never officially commented on the story. According to EW’s report, Deadwood creator David Milch was on board to serve as showrunner and executive producer. This would allow Pizzolatto to write the show without having to worry about all of the other duties that come attached to the executive producer title.

For now, it seems very likely that we’re getting a third season of True Detective, but nothing has been officially confirmed.