HBO Max renews True Detective for season 5 after streaming success

A series poster forTue Detective: Night Country
Jodie Foster was phenomenal in the fourth season of True Detective, Night Country. (Image credit: HBO)

HBO has confirmed in a tweet (see below) that a new fifth season of True Detective is on its way. This is exciting news for fans of the show, but no huge surprise considering the fourth season, called True Detective: Night Country, was incredibly well-received by both viewers and critics.

Details about what season five will be about and even when to expect it are thin on the ground. But we do know that Issa López, the showrunner for True Detective: Night Country, will also be overseeing season five as part of a deal with HBO.

This is good news considering that, according to Variety, the fifth season was the most-watched so far on Max with a massive 12.7 million viewers. It also looks like True Detective: Night Country found a bigger following over time and built up significant momentum with 3.2 million viewers tuning into the finale – a 57% increase compared to the number of people who watched the premiere.

Did Night Country reignite the True Detective spark?

We know we're not alone in thinking that the first season of True Detective (the one starring Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Michelle Monaghan) was phenomenal and easily up there with one of the best things we've ever seen on TV. 

However, the second and third seasons of True Detective that followed failed to captivate audiences in the same way. In fact, reviews for season two were not good at all – it had just 47% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing.

The recently-released fourth season recaptured some of the magic of the first. For those who haven't seen it yet, True Detective: Night Country is set in the fictional town of Ennis, Alaska. It follows Jodie Foster as Chief Liz Danvers and Kali Reis as Trooper Evangeline Navarro as they investigate the disappearance of eight men from a research station. 

Not everyone was a fan of the fourth season, but it received high praise from both viewers and critics. In fact, when we were combing through early reviews of True Detective: Night Country, we loved that TIME wrote that it “throws a bucket of ice water on a flagging franchise”. And, without giving too much away,’s Brian Tallerico wrote that he loves the darker side of this latest season. It’s “a mesmerizing study of murder, misogyny, racism, cycles of abuse, and possibly something out of H.P. Lovecraft.”

According to Deadline, it's not yet been decided whether the next season of True Detective will be related to the fourth season or whether it'll be a new standalone story. We also wouldn't expect Foster or Reis to return considering True Detective has historically changed its lead actors with each new instalment. 

While we wait for season five, you can watch True Detective: Night Country now on Max, one of the best streaming services. If you're in the UK, you can watch it on Sky Atlantic, and you'll find it on Binge in Australia.

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Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.