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Can Mahershala Ali Save 'True Detective' From Itself?

By Tori Preston | Industry | July 27, 2017 |

By Tori Preston | Industry | July 27, 2017 |

At their TCA panel yesterday, HBO made a number of exciting announcements (welcome back Jon Stewart!), but perhaps the biggest news is that Oscar winner and newly-certified Pajiba 10 hottie Mahershala Ali has signed a deal to star in the potential 3rd season of True Detective. Though the show isn’t a done deal yet, it’s getting close to receiving a greenlight — HBO programming chief Casey Bloys said he has read 5 finished scripts for the new series, and that they are “terrific.” Show creator Nic Pizzolatto has been working on the new season with HBO veteran David Milch… which is probably a good thing. No directors have been confirmed, though it sounds like the show won’t move ahead with any directors involved in the previous installments.

And speaking of David Milch, the panel also included an update on the long-awaited Deadwood movie. Bloys said he is very pleased with the script that Milch has turned in, which he had wanted to work as a stand-alone thing, accessible to Deadwood fans and people who had never seen the original series. Though he cautioned that there are still several roadblocks to overcome before the cameras can roll on the film: nailing down a budget that makes sense, finding the right director, and managing to get the cast together again for it. And that last one is a crucial piece, as the sprawling cast included actors Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker and John Hawkes — not to mention the late Powers Booth.

Regarding the controversy surrounding the recent announcement that HBO would be picking up Confederate, the new series from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Bloys admitted that they could have handled it better. “If I could do it over again,” Bloys said, “our mistake was thinking that we would be able to announce an idea that was so sensitive and require so much care in a press release. That was misguided on our part.” He knew that news of the show, which will depict an alternate United States in which the South successfully seceded from the Union and slavery still thrives, would be controversial — especially since journalists and the public at large didn’t have the benefit of sitting in a room with the producers and hearing their full concept in context. However, he assured everyone that the series wouldn’t be as over-the-top as it seems at first glance. “It’s not whips and plantations. It’s what they imagine a modern day institution of slavery would look like.” So… I guess we’ll have to see how THAT shakes out.

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In Game of Thrones news, Bloys said it’s unclear whether the final season would air in 2018 or 2019. To which I have to say: fuck you very much, Mr. Bloys. It’s a reduced episode count. Don’t string this shit along any further than you have to. Give us our goddamn dragons and our goddamn white walkers and let’s just be done with it, mmmkay? Thanks.

And finally, Larry David and other cast members were there to talk about the upcoming new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which returns to the channel in October. And based on the quotes, it sounds like it was a typical Larry David-esque affair (and probably just the respite the journalists needed, as those panels can DRAAAAG). On why he is decided to do another season, David said, “I got tired of people asking me, ‘Is the show coming back?’” He also apparently found out he actually IS distantly related to Senator Bernie Sanders (whom he impersonated for SNL during the election season), thanks to an upcoming episode of Finding Your Roots. Which just goes to show that there really is an order to the universe!

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Tori Preston is deputy editor of Pajiba. She rarely tweets here but she promises she reads all the submissions for the "Ask Pajiba (Almost) Anything" column at [email protected]. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba