I know next season is a brand new cast. And a brand new director. Names have been tossed around for those three positions all over the interwebs.
One of the reasons apparently the show is being treated a compendium, with each season unrelated, is because it allows HBO to flex it's financial muscles by spending big on cast, who otherwise wouldn't take a TV series, because they just do too much other work to commit 7 years of their lives to a single show (like say standing on a big digital frozen wall in Iceland somewhere).
But the thing I wasn't aware of is that the writer, Nic Pizzalato, who I've really enjoyed in his post show interviews and stuff, and I'm looking to download his first novel when my next reading jag begins, he doesn't seem to be going anywhere. It's his show. He pitched the show to HBO. And from everything I've read about him, he's a New Orleans native, and his couple of novels sound pretty similar in tone and texture. He pretty much is consistently tied up in the Louisiana / Texas landscape. And the bigger horror conspiracy type themes also sound pretty prevelant in most of his work. He did write two episodes of The Killing, which I enjoyed, and thought should be run the way this show is (New season, new cops, new body).
Now the tone of the show could change drastically with new actors and a new director (especially), but if the writing is going to keep re-greasing the same skids, this isn't going to be what I thought it was. I would be fine hating next season if they gave it to somebody who did 8 episodes of The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, just because I'm that interested in this notion of changing voices over this cop murder case motif.
The first names in Noir writing are probably Dennis Lahane, who's books are almost pre-booked for film writes now a days, who's books have yielded Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River amongst other things. Who wouldn't want to see that guy write an 8 episode season in Boston.
The second name is probably George Pelacanos. His Noir novels are revered in the industry, although he hasn't had the cross over success of Lehane. But he does have writing credits for TV for pretty much everything in that genre. From Homicide, to all the HBO stuff, the guy's had his hands in almost everything. He'd be a great choice to me.
And then there's the TV guys. Terrance Winter or David Simon are already under the HBO umbrella, I'd love to see a season written by either of them. We've probably already seen a six season version of what Vince Gilligan would do, but who wouldn't want to see him write a season sprawling across the southwest. Hell, even John Schwartzwalder who was the most prolific of all the Simpson writers writes a series of comical detective novels about an inept PI. Even that vision I'd be curious about.