Fans and FX might not be ready for Justified to go, but the cast and crew are.
The network confirmed Tuesday at the Television Critics Association winter previews that the drama, based on Elmore Leonard's "Fire in the Hole" short story, will end after its sixth season next year — a decision creator and executive producer Graham Yost and star Timothy Olyphant came to after a "long conversation."
Justified will of course have to cross the finish line without Leonard, who died in August as the show was prepping the current fifth season, which centers around the Crowes, one of the author's favorite families, and takes place in two of his favorite settings, Florida and Detroit. "Every episode we try to do is a tribute to Elmore Leonard," Yost said. "We were thinking 'This is going to be fun. Elmore's going to get a big kick out of that.' And then he died."Walton Goggins particularly hard one day when was having trouble with a scene and saw Leonard's chair, which is kept in front of the monitor in tribute. "There was one scene I couldn't get it right. I was really tired and I said, 'F--- it! I'm gonna sit down in your chair, Elmore,'" he said. "It was for a lack of a better word ... it was very special and very comforting. When it's all said and done, we will be a small piece of cloth in Elmore's coat. ... It's a big deal at the end of your life to say you were part of a literary giant's career."Still, Olyphant doesn't feel his death "hanging" over the show. "I loved the man. He's going to be greatly missed," he said. "I feel blessed to be able to do the show and that he got a kicked out of it. I feel lucky to have known the man."Justified airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.