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True Detective season 5 release date: We speculate how long will we have to wait for the next star-studded investigation

The long wait begins.

True Detective: Night Country Jodi Foster
Image credit: HBO

Great ratings don’t always lead to more episodes of a show, but it does usually help. In an increasingly crowded market, networks are always looking for a huge hit that will draw subscribers to their platform, so it isn’t exactly surprising that HBO would keep the good times rolling by renewing True Detective for a fifth season. Now we just need to start the long wait for when True Detective season five comes out.

The announcement comes on the heels of the show’s latest season, True Detective: Night Country, earning the series’ best ratings to date. In fact, the finale of Night Country earned 57% more viewers than the premiere, suggesting that it was more than just the True Detective brand that had people desperate to know what was going to happen next. HBO stopped well short of announcing when True Detective season 5 would be released, which is fairly normal for the series so far.

Each season of True Detective has had its own unique journey through production. After the first season proved to be a huge hit for HBO, they immediately brought it back for a second season the following year. However, some friction between series creator Nic Pizzolatto and the network meant that the third season, which was officially confirmed in 2017, didn’t air until 2019, nearly four years after the previous season.

The wait for season 4, subtitled Night Country, would be even longer. It wasn’t officially confirmed by HBO until March 2022, seemingly because the network and Pizzolatto had diverging visions for the series' future. The season would be written, directed, and executive produced by Issa Lopez, who has been tapped to return as showrunner for season five of True Detective, with Pizzolatto's involvement limited to executive producer. It wouldn’t premiere until January 2024, five years after season three.

The unique format of True Detective makes it difficult to guess what the show has planned next. It is difficult to even speculate when we can expect new episodes with such big gaps between seasons. With a showrunner on board to help shape the next season, work can get underway pretty quickly, but getting the right stars on board can take a bit of scheduling magic.

If we were guessing – which is all we can do at the moment – we would say that True Detective season five probably won’t be out until early 2026 at the earliest. All we know for sure is that someone is going to be murdered, a major Hollywood star is going to be roped in to solve the mystery, and we’re all going to be glued to our screens while we watch it happen.

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Trent Cannon

Trent Cannon: Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)


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