Breathe, Justified fans. We'll get through this.
Less than 24 hours after the hit FX drama premiered its highly anticipated fifth season, an end date could already be in sight. On Tuesday night, FX's programming president Nick Grad revealed to Variety that "the plan right now" is for season six to be the series last run on the network.
"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 explained at the Justified premiere party. We don't know about you, but we're not quite ready for Timothy Olyphant to leave out television sets.
Grad continued, "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."
Justified's season-five premiere ratings were lower than anticipated; only 2.84 million viewers tuned into the first episode back, a 21 percent drop from the 3.59 who watched the season-four opener.
The FX prez stressed that he would rather have the show end on a bang than with a long, drawn-out fizzle. "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."
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.