Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson Teaming for a TV Series -- Are You Surprised?

Set to star in an upcoming cop mystery, the actors are joining the wave of big-screen stars who are taking up residence on cable shows

They don't need to do TV. Heck, they probably don't need to work at all anymore. So why are Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson pairing up for a cop series that's being shopped to cable TV networks? 

It must be one cool show. And True Detective -- a crime drama from screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto of The Killing -- does sound pretty intriguing. The premise: Two detectives have been tracking a serial killer for 17 years, and the case is officially reopened in 2012. The pair of cops solve the mystery over the course of an eight-episode season. (Can we safely assume they'll reveal some personality tics along the way? No doubt about it.) Then, in season 2, the show starts fresh: A new crime, and new talent hunting the perpetrator.

Why would these guys agree to a cable TV show? Well, why not? McConaughey and Harrelson have worked together on two films, Edtv and Surfer, Dude, and they've been real-life buddies for years. Plus, both actors have recently appeared on HBO -- McConaughey did a guest spot on Eastbound and Down, while Harrelson starred in Game Change.

And frankly, any big name actor can see that these days, cable TV appears to be the place to be. Ever since the Emmy-winning turns of Glenn Close in FX's Damages and Kyra Sedgwick in TNT's The Closer, movie stars have practically flocked to cable land. They paved the way for Toni Collette's and Laura Linney's arrivals at Showtime (in The United States of Tara and The Big  C, respectively) and Laura Dern's new home at HBO (in Enlightened).

In some cases, their bets have paid off spectacularly. Welcome to the A-list, Timothy Olyphant (of FX's Justified)! Congrats on the career revival, Gabriel Byrne (of HBO's In Treatment)! In other cases, the gamble didn't pan out. Sorry to see you go, Dustin Hoffman (of the recently canceled HBO drama, Luck).

Still, it's easy to see why McConaughey and Harrelson would happily board this ship to a possible Emmy ceremony, or at least the Golden Globes. Now, some cable net just has to greenlight the show.

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