We’re at about the half-way point of what has been a superlative season 3, and now FX has given fans of its modern-day western, Justified, cause to rejoice with the news that season 4 will grace the airwaves sometime in early 2013.

After season 2 brought Margo Martindale an Emmy win for her portrayal of Harlan County drug lord Mags Bennett, Justified showed it was capable of taking the good reviews and word-of-mouth generated by season 1 to produce a bonafide award-winner that frequently delivered some of the best storytelling and dialogue on television.

While some expressed concern that season 3 would fail to live up to the incredibly high standards set forth by the previous season, it appears that the show hasn’t skipped a beat. As a result, Tuesday nights on FX have become home to a seemingly endless array of interesting backwoods characters, fisticuffs, shootouts and strangely eloquent discourses on the nature of criminality and justice. Throw in consistently fantastic performances by Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins (Boyd Crowder), and it’s easy to see why the network would be eager to bring a fourth season (and perhaps more) to its schedule.

Nick Grad, FX Executive Vice President of Original Programming had this to say of the show’s renewal:

“Justified is one of television’s best series and this season has reinforced that excellence. Graham Yost and his writing team continue to deliver compelling material and richly drawn characters brought to life by the brilliance of Timothy Olyphant and our terrific ensemble cast. Their work is validated by universal acclaim, awards, and ratings that have grown every year. We look forward to many more seasons to come.”

Yost (The Pacific, Falling Skies) also chimed in with deservedly high praise for his actors, staff and Raylan Givens’ creator, Elmore Leonard:

“There are many reasons all of us on Justified are grateful to get a chance to do another season. We get to do more work with amazing actors, writers, producers, directors, musicians, editors and a jaw-droppingly talented crew. We get to keep doing a show that appeals to a wide demographic: people in Harlan, retired US Marshals, criminals (we honestly did hear that), and, most happily, our guide, our muse, Elmore Leonard. Best of all, we get to keep doing a show on FX (and while that may sound like craven ass-kissing, when you look at their roster, you can’t help but feel grateful to be on that list).”

In addition to the acclaim, Justified has also seen a decent uptick in its ratings from last season. Averaging around 4.3 million first-run viewers each week for an 8% increase over season 2 – a fact that has to please the powers-that-be at FX.

It’s always good to hear when top-notch television is afforded the opportunity to continue its run, so we will gladly stay tuned for another 13-episodes of the adventures of Raylan Givens and the denizens of Harlan County. Though the way this season is going, it won’t be too shocking to see some regular cast members in no condition for season 4.

You can follow Justified with our weekly recaps and Screen Rant will be sure to let you know of any other developments in the series.

Source: Deadline