This doesn’t come as a huge shock, because the plan for a few years now was to end Justified after six seasons. However, now that we’re in the fifth, and the show’s creative juices seem to be flowing as freely as ever (recap up this afternoon), the notion that Justified will likely end next year is a painful thought. But, as FX executive Nick Grad notes, they’re going out for all the right reasons:
Grad also said that ending “Justified” after a healthy six-season run is “the plan right now,” though that could always change given the needs of the creatives.
“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,” Grad noted. “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.”
It’s the smart move and the brave move, though not necessarily the profitable one. I loathe the thought that our Januarys will no longer feature new episodes of Justified, but I do understand that — for the good of the show’s legacy — it’s best to go out sooner rather than later, lest it’s lasting appeal be tarnished by subpar late seasons, like The Office or Dexter or How I Met Your Mother or a dozen other shows that stuck around not for creative reasons, but for financial ones.