True Detective Season 5: Will More Episodes Ever Release?

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
True Detective

True Detective is about to conclude its fourth season on HBO and Max, but will Season 5 be released?

After years of waiting, True Detective returned for Season 4 in 2024 with the Alaskan-set mystery of Night Country. As usual for the HBO anthology series, it arrived with a brand-new cast, this time headlined by Jodie Foster.

As is common in modern-day media, Season 4 was met with a series of "woke" complaints leading to some negative reviews online.

Will True Detective Season 5 Happen?

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in True Detective

As of now, True Detective has yet to be renewed for Season 5 by HBO, but as Night Country has proven to be both a critical and viewership success, a renewal for more episodes does appear likely.

Looking at the data on Rotten Tomatoes, Season 4 has landed the best critic rating yet for True Detective at an impressive 92%, while also receiving the second-best audience rating of 64%, coming behind the freshman outing:

  • Season 1 - 91% (Critics), 88% (Audience)
  • Season 2 - 47% (Critics), 24% (Audience)
  • Season 3 - 84% (Critics), 53% (Audience)
  • Season 4 - 92% (Critics), 64% (Audience)

According to Variety, Night Country also appears to be keeping up with HBO viewership standards. "Part 3" reached 2.7 million viewers, marking a 5% increase from the previous episode which was already a 28% improvement in the premiere.

The HBO series was also said to be succeeding on Max, with the premiere taking in 7.5 million viewers after one week, while Episode 2 was watched by 8 million viewers in its first seven days of streaming.

Comparing the HBO viewership of Night Country against Succession Season 4 and The White Lotus Season 2, True Detective has been outpacing both.

Putting the third episode of True Detective Season 4 and Succession Season 4 head-to-head, the 2.7 million viewers of the former managed to beat out the then-series-high 2.5 million viewers of the latter.

While data is unavailable for The White Lotus Season 2, the show reached a series-high with Episode 6 of 2.3 million viewers, and that show managed to score a Season 3 renewal at HBO.

So, as it's clear True Detective is keeping up with other HBO hits in both viewership and critical acclaim, it would be surprising if the show wasn't renewed for Season 5, provided a fresh story can be worked out.

Even if "Night Country" showrunner Issa López isn't looking to tackle another outing, HBO has been willing to replace True Detective's creatives before as former showrunner Nic Pizzolatta departed the show after Season 3.

As usual for True Detective, it will be impossible to predict what will happen or who will appear in Season 5 until much closer to the time, as each new batch of episodes focuses on its own story and characters.

When Could True Detective Season 5 Release?

Looking at the history of True Detective, HBO could keep viewers waiting a long time to get their hands on Season 5. Just recently, the network had a five-year gap between 2019's Season 3 and 2014's Season 4, with the announcement of the latest season only finally coming in March 2022.

HBO had a tough task with Season 4 in finding a replacement for the original creator, writer, and showrunner Nic Pizzolatta, which they eventually did in Issa López who led the way for Night Country.

If López is looking to stick around for another season, as HBO would likely be hoping for after Season 4 drew critical acclaim, becoming the show's highest-rated outing on Rotten Tomatoes, it could allow a quicker turn-around for Season 5.

That said, even under Pizzolatta, there were still just under four years between 2015's Season 2 and 2019's Season 3. If the show were to continue following this same pattern of three-to-four-year gaps between releases, Season 5 may not happen until 2027 or 2028.

New seasons of True Detective take longer to put together than most shows, due to the need to find new locations and cast, while also penning and filming a completely original story, instead of following up on an existing one.

True Detective Season 4 will conclude with the release of the sixth and final episode on HBO on Sunday, February 18.

- In This Article: True Detective Night Country
Release Date
January 14, 2024
Fiona Shaw
Jodie Foster
Kali Reis
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.