Justified just kicked off its fifth season on Tuesday, but fans of the FX drama are already looking ahead to the sixth season, because it very well may be its last.
Ending the show after its sixth season is "the plan right now," FX president Nick Grad told Variety at Justified's Monday premiere.
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"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 continued. "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."
Albeit sad news, the six-season plan shouldn't come as a shock to the show's loyal viewers. In an interview with TVGuide.com in April, executive producer Graham Yost said he was fairly certain Season 6 would be the show's swan song. "We're going to plan on six and we'll see if there's any change to that over the next few months as we start to break stories. I'm sure the studio and the network would like more, but there are financial considerations and there are also big story concerns," Yost said at the time. "We might find room for more, but we're not planning on that. We try to think of each season at a time, but at the beginning of this past season we were thinking in terms of, 'What are the big moves we can do in [Seasons] 4, 5 and 6?' And while we don't by any means have it all laid out, there are at least ideas and rough targets of things we want to explore that seem to suggest six seasons."
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One of the show's longtime stars, Walton Goggins, said he was already starting to think about the beginning of the end of the series. "We're all looking at it as 26 episodes, not 13," he told TVGuide.com in October about the current fifth season, which will run 13 episodes. "I am looking at this as the longtail of my Justified experience. We're laying the groundwork for that."
If all goes according to plan, that means FX stands to lose two of its signature dramas within the span of a year. Sons of Anarchy's seventh and final season is set to debut in the fall.
The series airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX. Will you miss Justified?