CNN —  

The mystery about when HBO’s ‘True Detective’ will return has been solved.

In January, the anthology crime series will make its long-awaited comeback to the network, more than three years after the conclusion of its second season.

Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali take on the lead role in the Ozarks-set Season 3, which centers on what an HBO description called “a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.” (HBO and CNN share a parent company.)

Ali plays Wayne Hayes, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas.

Carmen Ejogo and Stephen Dorff also star.

The second season of “True Detective” starred Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, and Vince Vaughn. Creatively, the season failed to live up to the critically acclaimed freshman effort, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

HBO president Casey Bloys said at the Television Critics Association press tour earlier this month that “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto wrote four scripts ahead of filming and the network felt confident about the show’s return to form.

“The script that he wrote did all the talking for him,” Bloys said. “When I read the scripts I was sure. It wasn’t based on conversations, it was on the page.”