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'True Detective' season three, starring Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, is officially confirmed at HBO

Mahershala Ali accepting his Oscar for "Moonlight."  The actor will star in the third season of the HBO drama "True Detective" (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Mahershala Ali accepting his Oscar for "Moonlight." The actor will star in the third season of the HBO drama "True Detective" (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

During the HBO executive session at the summer edition of the Television Critics Assn. press tour, programming president Casey Bloys confirmed reports that "Moonlight" Oscar winner Mahershala Ali would star in a third season of "True Detective." Although he was mum at the time on when it might happen, he did say that he had read five scripts and thought they were "terrific."

Thursday night, the premium pay cabler released a statement officially confirming that the series will indeed return for a third installment.

While no episode count or premiere date was included in the release, an enclosed synopsis stated that the next iteration of the show "tells the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks, and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods."

Ali will star as Wayne Hays, a state police detective from northwest Arkansas. (Ali follows in the footsteps of season one stars, and continuing executive producers, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, and season two's Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn. No word yet on whether he'll have a partner.)

The show will once again be helmed by creator Nic Pizzolatto, who penned all the episodes of the upcoming series, save the fourth, which he co-wrote with David Milch ("Deadwood," "NYPD Blue"). He will share directing duties with fellow executive producer Jeremy Saulnier ("Blue Ruin.")

"I'm tremendously thrilled to be working with artists at the level of Mahershala and Jeremy," said Pizzolatto in a statement. "I hope the material can do justice to their talents, and we're all very excited to tell this story."  

Bloys noted that “Nic has written truly remarkable scripts.  With his ambitious vision and Mahershala Ali and Jeremy Saulnier aboard, we are excited to embark on the next installment of 'True Detective.' ”

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