HBO raised a few eyebrows recently by deciding to enter its show “True Detective” in the drama series race for the Emmys, rather than as a miniseries. But one of the cable channel’s heads says there was never really a question where the show belongs.
“This project was pitched to us, it was produced by us and marketed by us as a series,” Richard Lombardo, president of HBO programming, tells Deadline. He adds that “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto always considered the show a series, “and we always treated him as a creator of a series. In our minds this is a series.”
Still, there’s precedent for anthology shows like “True Detective” competing as miniseries. FX’s “American Horror Story” opened the gate a couple years ago, and a number of awards pundits figured HBO would follow suit rather than go up against the likes of “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and HBO’s own “Game of Thrones” for best drama.
“I had a conversation with the executive producers whether we wanted to be in a possibly less competitive category if you treat this as a mini, but we never seriously considered doing so,” Lombardo says. “Everyone wants to win awards, I understand that we are competing in the most competitive area, drama series, but it felt like the wrong reason to put it in a different category.”
Lombardo acknowledges the stiff competition in the field, and says it will be “disappointing” if stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, Pizzolatto and director Cary Fukunaga aren’t nominated for Emmys. “But I don’t think there will be any second guessing,” he adds. “This is it.”