Mexican Showrunner Issa López Returning for S5 of ‘True Detective’

Mexican filmmaker Issa López was the showrunner/executive producer for the critically acclaimed season 4 of 'True Detective

Issa Lopez True Detective

Photo: NotimexTV/ HBO Credit: NotimexTV/ HBO | Courtesy

It’s important to see Latinx representation in front of the camera in film and television, but it’s also important to support and celebrate our community behind the camera too, as writers, producers, and directors. In 2021, 2.5 percent of showrunners and 2.5 percent of directors were Latinx, according to a diversity study. Though Latinx shows are often where we have the most representation, some mainstream shows have diverse staff behind the scenes including HBO’s True Detective. Created by author and screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto, the anthology series debuted in 2014 and was helmed by Pizzolatto for three seasons. The fourth season, which premiered in January 2024, marked a big change, with the showrunner duties shifting to Mexican director, writer, and producer Issa López (Tigers Are Not Afraid), whose work helped the series, now titled True Detective: Night Country, reach its highest ratings in its four seasons with 12.7 million viewers across multiple platforms. The show’s six-episode run culminated with a finale that had 3.2 million viewers and the series earned the most critical acclaim since the first season. Now, HBO has confirmed that the series has been renewed for Season 5, with López returning as showrunner. She has also signed an overall deal with HBO to create and develop new projects for the network, according to Variety.

“From conception to release, ‘Night Country’ has been the most beautiful collaboration and adventure of my entire creative life,” López said, according to Variety. “HBO trusted my vision all the way, and the idea of bringing to life a new incarnation of ‘True Detective’ with Casey, Francesca and the whole team is a dream come true. I can’t wait to go again.”

The anthology series follows a different set of detectives solving a mystery in their state, from Louisiana to California to Arkansas to Alaska. They’ve all starred major A-list stars including Matthew McConaughey, and Rachel McAdams, as well as Latinx actors in recurring roles like Emily Rios (Breaking Bad) and Gabriel Luna (The Last of Us). The latest season starred Jodie Foster, who also executive produced, and Kali Reis, who played detectives trying to find a team of researchers who disappeared from their remote station in Alaska. While there was little Latinx representation, unlike other seasons, it did feature several prominent Indigenous actors including Isabella Star LaBlanc, Anna Lambe, and Joel Montgrand. Not to mention that the ratings for the fourth season surpassed all expectations, increasing with each episode until it reached an all-time high of 3.2 million viewers for the season finale, a 57 percent increase from the season premiere in January. So it’s only fitting that she will return for Season 5 and make another successful installment of the series.

“Pinch me… I think I’m dreaming. And the dream is a cold, cold nightmare. So endlessly thankful– this is for all the ones that never lost the faith. Gracias…True Detective, here we go!” she said in the Instagram post announcing the original news of her becoming showrunner for Season 4 in 2022. “Where True Detective is male and it’s sweaty, Night Country is cold and it’s dark and it’s female,” she added to Vanity Fair.

No release date, plot details, or casting decisions for the fifth season have been announced. In the meantime, all four seasons ofTrue Detective are available to watch on Max and Hulu.

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