In baseball, the most lauded hitter of all time still failed, on average, six out of ten times he came to the plate. The same goes for HBO. Their batting average is so high, that we tend to overlook their failures, but it's undeniable that the second season of True Detective was a total disappointment, particularly considering how amazing that first season was. Well, someone's finally taking the blame, and it's not who you'd expect? Unless you read the headline.
In a new interview with The Frame (link below), HBO's President of Programming Michael Lombardo—he's the improbably tanned half-baked Rob Lowe clone pictured above with Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese—says that deadlines hurt the creative process. He basically says that the rush to put a second season out there as quickly as possible for rabid fans hurt the overall quality of the finished product. Read this full quote, it's a pretty remarkable thing for anyone in a position of power at a major entertainment corporation to say...
I’ll tell you something. Our biggest failures — and I don’t know if I would consider “True Detective 2” — but when we tell somebody to hit an air date as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it’s ready, when it’s baked — we’ve failed. And I think in this particular case, the first season of “True Detective” was something that Nic Pizzolatto had been thinking about, gestating, for a long period of time. He’s a soulful writer. I think what we did was go, “Great.” And I take the blame. I became too much of a network executive at that point. We had huge success. “Gee, I’d love to repeat that next year.”
Well, you know what? I set him up. To deliver, in a very short time frame, something that became very challenging to deliver. That’s not what that show is. He had to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Find his muse. And so I think that’s what I learned from it. Don’t do that anymore.
And I’d love to have the enviable certainty of knowing what my next year looks like. I could pencil things in. But I’m not going to start betting on them until the scripts are done.
I wonder if this means that they'll be pumping the brakes a bit on Game of Thrones, considering we're now going to be at least a full book ahead of what's been released by the end of this season. Time will tell, but as someone who follows this industry closely, I can tell you this is a rarity.
Via The Frame