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True Detective Season 5: Renewal News, Who's Coming Back, and More

The wildly successful fourth season of True Detective prompted HBO to renew the series within days of the finale

Phil Owen
Jodie Foster, True Detective: Night Country

Jodie Foster, True Detective: Night Country

Michele K. Short/HBO

The undisputed ruler of the television world in 2024 (so far) is HBO's True Detective: Night Country, which enlisted Jodie Foster and Kali Reis for an enthralling season from new showrunner Issa López, years after most of us assumed the series had been put to rest. Night Country had the highest viewership for the entire series, and it didn't take long for the powers that be at HBO to renew True Detective for Season 5.

Even though the season finale of True Detective: Night Country is still fresh, it's never too soon to look ahead to what's next for the gritty noir series. Scroll down for everything there is to know about True Detective Season 5, like who is and is not returning for the next season and how long it might be before we get to watch it.

More on HBO and Max:

True Detective Season 5 latest news

Those of you hoping for the return of Jodie Foster's Liz Danvers in Season 5 of True Detective will be sad to know that it isn't happening, according to the actress herself. Asked at the Academy Awards by Variety about the possibility of reprising her role, Foster flat-out said, "No." Despite our hopes, this isn't surprising news, given that the series has always been an anthology.

True Detective Season 5 renewal

On Feb. 22, just five days after the final episode of Night Country aired, HBO renewed the series for a fifth season — considering how popular the season had been, that actually seemed a little bit slow, but there was a reason for that. HBO didn't just announce the show's renewal — the network also announced that Issa López, who wrote and directed all six episodes of Night Country, will return in the same capacity for Season 5. 

True Detective Season 5 cast — will Jodie Foster return?

According to Jodie Foster, she won't be back for the next season of True Detective. When asked by Variety on the Oscars Red Carpet about the possibility of returning for the next chapter, Foster was definitive: "No." The actress says it was a "one and done" role and that True Detective will retain its anthology format. 

However, Season 4 creator, director, and writer Issa López is definitely coming back. Even though Night Country had some surprising connections to True Detective's past, López referred to Season 5 as "a new incarnation" of the series, which implies a new story like the previous season. But it's doubtful they're very far into the brainstorming process, so a change in the status quo could be an option.

True Detective Season 5 release date prediction

It took a full decade for us to get four seasons of True Detective. After Season 1 aired in January 2014, we got Season 2 a year and a half later. Season 3 came three and a half years after that, and it was another five years before Night Country. This is not a series that has traditionally been in a huge hurry. 

But with the renewal announced and with López at the helm once more, there's little reason to expect another massive wait for Season 5 — at least not on the same scale as the wait between Seasons 3 and 4. However, with each season of True Detective thus far being a standalone story, it might take a bit longer to come together than a continuation of an existing story would. 

With Lopez already on board and likely to get started relatively soon, though, our guess is that we can expect True Detective Season 5 within two years.

True Detective overview

True Detective is an anthology mystery series with a distinctively noir bent — meaning it's as grim and gritty as grim and gritty gets. Until Night Country, each season of True Detective had been completely its own thing, telling a single, sprawling standalone story across each season, usually with some kind of conspiracy at the heart of the situation.

Night Country broke from the mold a little bit by including explicit references to the Louisiana-set Season 1, despite taking place thousands of miles away in Alaska. Could this lead to an even more connected Season 5? I wouldn't count it out.

An interesting Season 4 tidbit: López's original pitch for Night Country was as a new series, but HBO presented the idea of telling it as part of the True Detective franchise, according to Entertainment Weekly

Kali Reis, True Detective: Night Country

Kali Reis, True Detective: Night Country

Michele K. Short/HBO

True Detective Season 4 review

True Detective: Night Country was very well regarded by critics, earning a weighted average of 81 out of 100 from critics on Metacritic. TV Guide's Keith Phipps called Night Country a return to form in his positive review. Following the disappointing Season 2 of True Detective, TV Guide's Liam Mathews previously said Season 3 was much better in his review.

More shows like True Detective

If you're already feeling the pain of having to wait for more True Detective, we can help — check out our list of 14 other shows you'll love if you're really into True Detective's vibe.

How to watch True Detective

All four seasons of True Detective aired on HBO and are exclusively streaming on Max.