Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, writer and producer Nic Pizzolatto spent much of his childhood in the woods and outdoors. He described his hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana as a violent, anti-intellectual environment, and his childhood as an unhappy one. He used an interest in art as an escape from the dissatisfactions of his surroundings, and attended Louisiana State University on a visual arts scholarship in the mid 1990s. After graduation Pizzolatto moved to Austin, TX where he worked for several years as a bartender and a technical writer before matriculating at an MFA program at the University of Arkansas. He graduated in 2005 and spent 5 years writing two books and teaching literature and fiction at UNC Chapel Hill, University of Chicago and DePauw University. In 2010 Pizzolatto moved to Los Angeles with the goal of writing for the screen. His television career began in 2011 when he wrote two episodes for the first season of crime drama "The Killing" (AMC 2011-14). Pizzolatto felt stifled in the writer's room and reportedly did not enjoy the dynamic. He left the show during its second season after two weeks in the writer's room. In 2012 Pizzolatto created and sold the original television series "True Detective" to HBO. Pizzolatto was the Executive Producer, showrunner and only writer. The series' setting in backwater New Orleans drew heavily on Pizzolatto's memories of his own childhood. Starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the show premiered in January of 2014 and developed the most popular first-season run in the network's history.