While the second episode of “Justified” season 5 is airing on FX tonight, we were forced recently to take a cold, hard look at the future of the show courtesy of the news that came out regarding when the show is going to end. Specifically, we’re talking about in just a little over a year. From one standpoint, that time feels right. Many shows are lucky to last six years, and it is hard to really sit here and list out some that were actually still good after being on the air for that long.
So who was the person who was willing to say that season 6 was going to be the end? Think of it as a decision made by two of the people most involved in the show. Speaking at TCA Tuesday, FX Networks head John Landgraf said that the decision that was made was a collaboration between executive producer Graham Yost and the show’s star Timothy Olyphant. These two are smart guys who likely knew the trajectory of the show, and that sometimes, it’s better to end things before viewers start to forget that they are on.
In a way, the bummer for “Justified” is that it has always been one of those shows that really never got the attention that it deserved at times. Part of that is due to the time in which it airs, and maybe another part is due to FX, for whatever reason, being one of the more frequently-shunned networks out there. Margo Martindale is one of their biggest winners, but even many times that they’ve had great episodes or performers, they’ve rarely emerge victorious. When you have a show that has such a good vs. evil battle at the center of it, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the shuffle with some other great ones.
One last note to share on this? That Landgraf would have been happy to have more of the show if the folks involved wanted to continue.