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FX Boss John Landgraf Clarifies ‘True Detective’ Remark — Calm Down People, He’s a Fan

Landgraf sets the record straight after some outlets suggested he took a dig at the HBO drama at TCA

John Landgraf would like it to be known: He’s a big fan of “True Detective.”

Landgraf, the CEO of FX Networks & FX Productions, went out of his way to clarify remarks he made about the HBO series during the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, after reports suggested that he took a dig at the show.

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The quote that stirred up controversy involved “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto. During the Q&A portion of his executive session, Landgraf opined, “…Nic (Pizzolatto) is going to have to prove he can write something truly great every single year.”

Unfortunately, some outlets, deliberately or otherwise, lopped off the last part of the quote, reporting that Landgraf had said, “Nic is going to have to prove he can write something truly great.”

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Which, yes — does kind of say the opposite of what Landgraf meant.

Compounding matters, some outlets cranked out analysis and commentary based on the mangled quote. (One site in particular, claimed that Landgraf: “went on to explain that FX is fucking awesome and ‘Fargo’ is fucking awesome and ‘True Detective’ is totally stupid and the Emperor has no Clothes, just the leathern remains of Matthew McConaughey smugly muttering nonsense.”)

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Landgraf took pains to set the record straight in a statement issued Wednesday, saying he “loved” the first season of “True Detective,” and that Pizzolatto will surely clear the “very high bar” that he set for himself “by a mile” with the second season.

“It seems unreasonable that I should have to issue a clarification for something that was stated clearly in the first place, but nevertheless I repeat, for the record, that I watched ‘True Detective’ and loved it. I think Nic Pizzolatto wrote something truly great (and Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Cary Fukunaga also did absolutely stellar work),” Landgraf said. “Nic has created a very high bar for himself, and as a fan of the show and based on his work in season one, I have no doubt he will clear it by a mile with his second incarnation of ‘True Detective.’

“Also, for the record, I am an avid viewer and fan of many of HBO’s outstanding original series, and I have a profound respect for Richard Plepler, Mike Lombardo and their entire gifted team,” Landgraf concluded. “Anyone who claims to love television but doesn’t pay attention to the consistently excellent work that HBO is fostering, would be suspect in my book.”