‘Justified’ Likely to End After Season 6

Published 11 months ago by

Justified Raylan Givens Justified Likely to End After Season 6

One of FX’s most unabashed success stories, Justified recently debuted yet another strong season premiere episode for its fifth season. Taking lawman Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) out of the relative comfort zone of his home stomping grounds, the premiere showed that Justified need not be confined by its (admittedly colorful and important) local geography.

Yet, despite the series’ apparent ability to grow and change successfully, Justified may not be around much longer. According to the show’s producers, plans are in place for season 6 of Justified to be the show’s last.

Variety has shared the scoop that showrunner Graham Yost is planning to end Justified after its sixth season. At an event for the show’s season 5 premiere, FX executive Nick Grad confirmed that the current vision for the series sees it concluding after the next season. Grad commented:

“We like having shows that rate really well, and there’s an instinct that you want it to go on forever. But it doesn’t… Another metric that’s important to us [beyond ratings] is, ‘What shows are going to be talked about in the next 20 years?’ If you’re making a great, 80-hour movie, it has to have a beginning, middle and end. Going out at the right time is going to make your show last forever — we want to make shows that stand the test of time.”

A likely influence on the showrunners’ plans is the recent passing of author Elmore Leonard, who originated the characters and story on which Justified is based. The show has already paid tribute to Leonard, but one gets the sensation from Variety‘s article that his death has taken some of the wind out of Justified‘s creative sails.

Justified Boyd Crowder Justified Likely to End After Season 6

At the same time, Grad admitted that the current plans to end Justified with season 6 are subject to change, dependent on how the series’ showrunners feel after the end of season 5. If there are more stories to tell – and be told within the organic framework of the series – they may end up pressing forward into a purely theoretical season 7.

There’s much to be said for television series that don’t overstay their welcome. Grabbing an obvious recent example, Breaking Bad seemed to bow out at exactly the right moment, rarely testing viewers’ patience (with the exception of an egregious “mid-season” hiatus) before its planned ending. If Justified goes for a similar final run, it could cement itself among the pantheon of truly great modern television series.

What say you, Screen Rant readers – should Raylan Givens hang up his hat after six solid seasons, or should he keep pressing on as long as he can?


Justified is currently dispensing its fifth season of Southern-fried justice Tuesday nights on FX.

Source: Variety

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  1. Graham Yost said the same in a free preview for this season (via Amazon). In fact, he made the statement one day after Mr. Leonard’s passing.

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with going out on a high note. They’ve presented us with a quality tale, memorable characters and great performances. Better that than running until it’s a hollow shell of what made it great.

  2. Better to end after six memorable seasons than to linger like CSI, NCIS, and L&W: SVU that have become more anachronisms than acronym.

  3. yeah would rather go out on a high personally. leave us wanting more! just like southland and breaking bad. allthough i know southland was not exactly planned but still very effective.

  4. Actually screen rant the producers and show runners have been saying 6 seasons since BEFORE Elmore’s death, right around before season 4 started. This is actually the first time I’ve heard about the potential for 7 seasons. Just like every other show out there you need to have a game plan and end in mind very early. Using dexter as an example that should’ve only been 6 seasons as everything after season 4 was awful. On the other hand justified has been terrific since the first episode.

  5. As long as they don’t do a Dexter or a Lost.

  6. For the end of this series, I would love to have Raylan and Boyd draw their guns on each other across a dinner table, much like at the end of the pilot.

    I would also like to have the final episode be just Raylan and Boyd sitting across a table, much like the episode “Fly” of Breaking Bad. If any show could utilize the superb dialogue and the interaction between their two best characters, Justified could. That would also make the finale very memorable.

  7. I think the thing that makes Justified stand out from typical cops shows is the cast of colorful characters that’s a Elmore Leonard trait. In that light I think they could carry on a few seasons more if they could continue to do it in the true Leonard style. I mean they throw all these quirky bad guys at you and then add some quirky aspects to the good guys so I find the show always entertaining. Too many cop shows just have this line between the good guys and the bad guys and you basically know who is on which side, but with Justified you really can’t help liking some of the bad guys…Like Boyd…He can be a cold blooded killer, but damn if he isn’t about the most polite and easy going bad guy most of the time. The kind of guy that could make you forget you were mad at him for killing a relative. Then there’s Dicky and Dewey who provide a lot of comic relief as well as a host of others. I have to disagree. I think the show could go on a few seasons more if they managed the same formula that’s brought it this far

    • It is the best cop show on TV. Combines good scripts with good acting the same combination that sustained NYPD Blues for so many years. Are the producers and writers nuts or out of ideas?

  8. I don’t really understand this, “End on a high note” bs. To me it is ridiculous. If you can still tell a good story and fans are still interested then keep doing it. I defies all logic to me to end a highly popular show for no reason and it seems like bad business unless the actors contracts grow to exponentially large.

    Breaking Bad is unique because the premise is based upon a lead actor having terminal cancer. So at a point you HAVE to end it somehow. But other shows not based on similar premises I just don’t understand.

    • You can’t understand because it’s not true. “Ending on a high note”??? What a joke. Tv-Shows and Tv stations works with RATINGS. No Tv-Station will cancel a shows if it gives them good rating and is profitable. So the reason for cancelling has to be the ratings are too low.

      “Justified’s season-five premiere ratings were lower than anticipated; only 2.84 million viewers tuned into the first episode back, a 21 percent drop from the 3.59 who watched the season-four opener.”

      • So… what about Breaking Bad? I’m sure the station would love to continue flogging most of these shows along but in these instances the creative minds behind the shows are the ones ending things. I’d hate to see Justified continue as I would have loved more Breaking Bad… but if someone else started making them it’s likely they would become pure crap. There most certainly is such a thing as ending on a high note. Nothing is worse than watching them destroy something that was once great.

  9. Thats b*******, Why are these folks always quick to end such great shows… They only make garbage nowadays… Lets be honest…

  10. “Going out at the right time is going to make your show last forever — we want to make shows that stand the test of time.”

    That is the best statement i ever heard from a person(he wrote speed) in the biz. He knows exactly what i’m talking about. It can’t just be about making episodes. It’s about standing out and being a legend.

  11. I thought they always wanted to end the show on season 6 with Leonard writing the penultimate and co-wrote the series finale. But since he passed away, I guess that’s not possible. Also, the show is riddle with Shakespearean influences in it’s writing, which features a lot in the late writer’s writing.

  12. Shakespearean influence….Maybe a Duke Of Hazards influence mixed with a bit of Gunsmoke influence. Shakespearean seems a bit too lofty for this show

    • Season 2 and 3 was big on Shakespearean Tragedy. Come to think of it, other shows in FX does as well.

  13. Great news. Have been wanting to hear something like this sense the 2nd season.

    While this may not jive well with everyone I want a tragic ending for Mr. Givens. I do enjoy his brand of justice however the odds that are in his favor should dwindle as the years go by.

    Just like the lawman of the past (West).

    I have always wondered why TV shows never ended and had to drag on into oblivion. I agree it appears to hurt more then help.

    • since….. :D

  14. The show will be greatly missed by diehards like myself, but I agree that it’s better to conclude a great series on a high note rather than to keep churning out uninteresting episodes just to keep it going. In addition to Elmore Leonard’s passing as a factor in ending the series, I also think that Timothy Olyphant may feel it’s time to put Raylan Givens to rest (not literally; if anything I’ll bet it’s Boyd who bites the dust at series’ end, as was originally supposed to be the case in the pilot). Olyphant is a terrific actor, and probably wants to get back onto the big screen while he’s still at a relatively young age for some plum movie parts. I’ve long thought of him as the next Clint Eastwood and can definitely see him in that type of role; already looking forward to seeing him as a sharpshooter in the upcoming horror western “Bone Tomahawk” where he’ll share the screen with, among others, Kurt Russell. I for one appreciate those behind the show letting us know now that “Justified” will be calling it quits, but not until after next season; this way we can savor all of this season which just started, and then look forward to what will most likely be a sensational wrap up in 2015. Rest in peace, Mr. Leonard, and thank you.

    • Speaking of getting back to movies….Anyone hear what ever became of Hitman 2? I remember talk about it some time back but nothing since. Maybe they couldn’t shave the head because of this roll.

  15. Like Gary said… Boyd and Raylan both die while fighting a mutual enemy and with one helping the other like in season 1, with one getting shot while attending the other. I can see it now….They lay slain, side by side, (Overhead view of bodies). A local resident says “What a shame…. These 2 fellas dug coal together growing up, they took a different path in life but ended up at the same destination, these Hills will take the life right outta ya.” and you hear the famous “You’ll never leave Harlan Alive” song play at the end. That ending would give me goosebumps to be honest and probably shed a few tears and talk about how awesome of a show this was. “You’ll never leave Harlan alive is the theme of the show forsure!!

    I HOPE THE WRITERS CAN VIEW THIS COMMENT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN OR ATLEAST A SIMILAR CLIMAX. Don’t worry, that many people wont see my comment so it wont be a spoiler. Especially 2 years from now. Just please Play the Most GRAND Version of “You’ll never leave Harlan Alive”..Preferably the version from “Season 1″. I dont listen to country but that song brings tears to my eyes. -Tony

  16. With all of the B.S. shows out there, and there are tons of them, why cancel a great show that has a great story line over 6 seasons? They could easily make great seasons until season 10 at least! I for one do not want to see Justified go and would not be very happy if it did. I never get tired of Raylon shooting bad guys!


  18. Justified is currently the best show on television in my opinion. With that being said it would be for strictly selfish reasons that I would want it to go on if the writers and creators had reached the end of their creative rope. What makes Justified so great are the characters. Every single character makes you emit some type of emotion when they appear on the screen. My concern is that six years is just a bit short in the scheme of historic television. I think eight, possibly nine years would still allow the show to go out on top!

  19. I love Justified and will be very sorry to see it end. One of only two shows that I actually watch. And no, I absolutely do not want Raylan to die. I do however want him to finish the job he started in the pilot.

    My view is that if they can tell good stories still, there is no reason to end the show. One of the problems with season 5 is that I think they were concentrating too hard on telling a story that spreads over two seasons, the other that the Crowes were not the most exciting villains that Raylan had to go up against.

  20. I have just finished watching series 5 & have found the show very entertaining/engrossing & agree its up there with BB, Sopranos. Whilst i would like the show to go beyond 6 series, i can sorta see that there is a danger of running out of good story lines. The only real loose ends for Raylan is Boyd & the Columbians(?) from the pilot. My bet would be it wont end well for Raylan, ex-wife & child & Boyd becomes the hero(?) as he blows up a ship full of coke along with the Columbian cartel & himself.
    Either way i’m sure smarter people than me are employed as writers & look forward to their engrossing series 6

  21. I love Justified and would love to see Raylan get transferred to Los Angeles or back to Miami. He will always be going against the grain which makes him interesting. C’mon people why cancel such a great show, you have to have some good writers that can keep this story alive!

  22. My husband and I just found this show a few months ago and bought all of the seasons on iTunes. We love it! I can’t understand why there is talk of ending it. I would love to see Raylan get transferred to Los Angeles or back to Miami. He will always be going against the grain which makes him interesting. C’mon people why cancel such a great show, you have to have some good writers that can keep this story alive!

  23. 6 seasons really isn’t that long. SVU had a much longer successful run than that as did other shows. I would vote for a few more if the cast is willing. I am glad they are not bringing in cameos, like Aaron Paul doing SOA, because that makes it really fake and Hollywood. Walton Givens has so overshadowed Timothy Olyphant in character, that they need a few seasons to bring it full circle. You KNOW Ava Crowder is going to get finished off for being disloyal and sneaky, so who will be the strong female to take her place? If they don’t get the audience it is because FX doesn’t advertise this show – they cater to a group of “insiders”.

  24. Justified has been one of my favorite shows in the last decade. I wait in complete anticipation for every season. I don’t understand why the show and its lead actor hasn’t won the awards it deserves. I certainly believe it is in the top 15 shows that are running out there on all networks combined. It is such a shame that they continue to make these other half-witted, weak dialogue and terrible acted shows but cancel the one that have are the most unique, entertaining and creative. The humor, the sarcasim, the great writing and the fantastic chemistry between the actors is what makes it great. The main two actors Boyd and Raylan make the show. One of the best ensembles put together. On the other hand, I don’t want it to become like these senseless, boring, redundant shows that exist all over cable tv either. I say…give it two more seasons. But don’t kill Raylan off. Just give him some reason for why he has to retire and start his own private detective agency instead.

  25. i personally do not think that Justified could ever be a hollow shell.. the actors and writers will make sure of that.

  26. Justified is one of the best shows on television. Why, you ask because it is true southern fried justice which we don’t have a lot of. I get the closure I need because you know the rules if you break them your life is over. That has changed in the world, no consequences, no going to court, no pleading not guilty. They must save a pile of money in Kentucky just off the justice system alone. It used to be that way, now someone else pays. Justified is awesome, I like their system, the people, their characters and to me it is true to life. No nonsense. MCF

  27. Timothy Olyphant has repeatedly stated in interviews that he no longer wishes to act, having become hyper conscious of himself as an actor by also directing & producing JUSTIFIED. He wants to exclusively produce, though he does not say what. He is the one who wants JUSTIFIED to end. There is an hour long YouTibe interview between Walton Goggins & Timothy where the two of them discuss this in depth (Dec 2013, I think). Since “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” ends each season’s finale episode, there is viewer speculation that either Boyd, Raylan , or both will be killed in the finale.

    Personally, I have been disappointed in the series’ Villain of the Season approach as it detracted from the major premise: the conflict between Raylan & Boyd. I still love the show, and was hoping the final season would return to this major conflict. Since 2 Villains will be in the show, among them Sam Elliott, it looks like the last season will follow the pattern of recent years. It’s been a good run & I’ll miss it, but if the major star doesn’t want to act at all any longer, it’s not likely viewers will have much say in whether the series continues.

  28. We have just finished viewing all 5 series and what a show. Nothing compares to this programme, please, please do not let it finish. Can’t wait so see series 6 when it’s available. So exciting, compelling, gripping and a whole lot more.

    Thank everyone concerned.