“I would have liked to have more ‘Justified.’ It’s one of my favorite shows,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf says at the TCA winter press tour. “I just really love it personally and have a long-standing admiration of all things Elmore Leonard.”
The decision, Landgraf says, came from “Justified” creator Graham Yost and star/producer Timothy Olyphant. “They felt the arc of the show and what they had to say would be best served by six years, six seasons, instead of seven. So regretfully I accepted their decision,” Landgraf says.
Yost tells Zap2it that while some business considerations went into the decision — “they initially only make a deal with someone like Tim for six years” — it had more to do with what’s on screen.
“It feels like the Kentucky story of Raylan Givens [Olyphant] is about six years,” Yost says. “And similarly with Boyd [Walton Goggins], and Raylan and Boyd. And to take it beyond that, our fear is really just running out of story.
“It’s tough enough to get to the end of any season, and the idea of going beyond that — we just got that sense of weariness,” Yost adds. “Now, it’s tough because we’re in production, and we’re feeling weary anyway. But that was our best guess.”
Landgraf says that as much he likes “Justified,” he doesn’t want to extend it past what the people making it believe is right.
“We’ve tried as much as we could not to make business drive creative, and therefore not to either extend shows beyond their lifespan or cut them short before they ought to be,” Landgraf says. “I can’t tell you we’ve never extended a show longer than it probably should have been, or cut it a little shorter than it should have been. But we really, really try hard not to do that.”
Season 5 of “Justified” premiered last week and airs at 10 p.m. ET Tuesdays on FX.