So look, the second season of True Detective seems to be going down in history as a bust for HBO. Some of us will still defend it until we’re bothered by something else that needs our attention, but others are ready to declare it the worst program on television in 2015. Hyperbole at its finest.
But that criticism has had an effect on those involved at the network, particularly with the top brass. President of programming Michael Lombardo spoke with The Frame about upcoming shows on HBO and the failures of the past, hinting that he takes the blame for what happened with True Detective season 2:
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.
Lombardo also goes into detail about HBO’s support for diversity in nudity, addressing criticism and saying that the nudity goes both ways. He even goes so far as to say we live in a puritanical society, which is a little odd. There’s currently a severe lack of hats with buckles on them in society for that to be true.