Gunslinging Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens may be running out of time, according to FX President Nick Grad. Just days after the well-received fifth season premiere of Justified (check out our take here), Grad has revealed that the show, based on novels by the late Elmore Leonard, is likely to end its run after a sixth season next year.
Speaking with Variety at the show’s season five premiere party, Grad confirmed that ending Justified after six seasons is “the plan right now.” Though he acknowledged that the show’s run could be extended if the writers required more time to properly wrap up plot threads, Grad explained that:
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.
With such acclaimed shows on the air as Sons of Anarchy, Archer and The Americans, FX clearly prides itself on quality programming, so you can’t fault Grad for wanting Justified to go out on a high note. After all, Showtime demonstrated the dangers of prolonging shows past their selling point twice-over this year with the wimpy final season of Dexter and messy third season of Homeland. By comparison, AMC set a definite end-point for its meth drama Breaking Bad, and its final season was rightly extolled as one of the finest in television history.
Showrunner Graham Yost has previously stated that he approved of ending Justified after six seasons, preferring a shorter run over turning the show into “Elmore light,” and with Grad firmly on his side, the chances that fans will be bidding adieu to Raylan Givens next year seem pretty high.
What do you think about the possibility that we’ll only see two more seasons of Justified? Are you sad to see the show go, or are you glad that it’ll go out on top? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.