IF YOU’RE STILL getting over the insane (or brillant, depending on how you look at it) orgy that occurred in last week’s episode of True Detective, and are wondering how they have been able to get away with half the stuff they have done so far,; your answer may come directly from HBO’s President of programming Michael Lombardo. From The Hollywood Reporter:
Criticism (of True Detective) was bound to pepper the line of questioning during the pay cable network’s Thursday executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour — and programming president Michael Lombardo was clearly prepared.
“I’ve been on vacation,” he said, taking a question about the series at the top of the panel. “I came back for this, and I became aware that some of you have tweeted [and] written some comments about True Detective…that you weren’t enjoying it as much as you thought you might.”
But Lombardo did not appear phased by any of critics’ qualms — and he came with the viewership stats to justify his continued pleasure with the series’ performance. He noted that neither this season, nor the previous critically-lauded one with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, was intended or expected to draw such a big audience. And that number has climbed. True Detective boasts an average 12 million viewers this season, which has it pacing 1 million north of the first season.
“Nic Pizzolatto is one of the best writers working in television and motion pictures today,” Lombardo added of his divisive True Detective creator and showrunner, before teasing that he enjoyed the finale. “I think he takes a big swing. I think the show ends with as satisfying an end as any show I’ve seen.”
HBO took its time before commissioning the second season of True Detective, thanks in great part to Pizzolatto trying to pin down a new story for the anthology. Word on a third season may take just as long.
“I’d love to do another season,” Lombardo said, noting that the ask to Pizzolatto was already out there. “I haven’t asked every one of the 12 million viewers who is watching, but I think what he’s doing is so much bolder, braver and satisfying that what I’m seeing in film. I’d happily be in business with him for a long time.”
Essentially 12 million people watching, even if it’s hate watching, is a success. Prepare for more weirdness in season 3.