“True Detective,” the limited series coming to HBO in 2014, is the kind of project that suggests it’s a model for where high-end television could be headed. It features two major stars — Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, the latter making his debut as a TV lead — and a film director, Cary Fukunaga (“Jane Eyre”), helming all eight episodes. The deliberately curtailed run and unified direction seem to put it halfway between a movie and a series (and also have allowed it to lure in top drawer talent without requiring a problematically big ask of their schedules).
Written by Nic Pizzolatto (of the novel “Galveston” and a few episodes of “The Killing”), “True Detective” is centered around a pair of detectives (Harrelson and McConaughey, joined by Kevin Dunn, Michelle Monaghan, Elizabeth Reaser and others) whose search for a Louisiana serial killer spans 17 years. Should it be renewed, subsequent seasons will follow an “American Horror Story” anthology approach, using the same structure with a new story and characters. The teaser below is mostly a mood piece, but offers a brief glimpse of Harrelson and McConaughey in their roles.