By Lynette Rice
April 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT

HBO is closing a deal on a drama that would star Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as detectives in what could be an ongoing anthology for the pay cabler.

The eight-episode series, dubbed True Detective, was written by Nic Pizzolatto (The Killing) and focuses on two detectives whose lives become interlaced while investigating a 17-year-old case involving a serial killer in Louisiana, EW has confirmed. (Deadline first reported the deal). The tale begins with a murder in 1995; the case is reopened in 2012. McConaughey will play Det. Rust Cohle and Harrelson, Det. Martin Hart.

Subsequent seasons of True Detective would use the same conceit but involve new characters and a new story.

McConaughey and Harrelson have started together in the flicks Edtv and Surfer, Dude. This would be their first collaboration for the small screen.