Justified has been off the air for six years next month, but I still talk about it constantly because it is my favorite TV show of all time and I MISS IT FOREVER. Even though Justified has been off the air for so long, it remains part of My Brand™️, so much so that when the news that Timothy Olyphant may return as laconic Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens, people immediately started sending the same news story to me. (My Brand™️ is strong.) Thank you everyone for thinking of me as we celebrate the potentially miraculous return of Raylan Givens, the coolest cat on TV even though his show has been off the air for six years next month. While Justified was airing, nobody was as cool as Raylan, and no one has been as cool since.
Of course, the key word in all of this is “maybe”. The creative team behind Justified, including showrunner Graham Yost and executive producers Michael Dinner and Dave Andron, are reuniting for a new FX series based on Elmore Leonard’s novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit. For this new series, Dinner and Andron will be co-showrunners, with Yost serving as EP, and other Justified writers and producers such as VJ Boyd, Chris Provenzano, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly, and Taylor Elmore joining executive producers as well. Michael Dinner will also direct episodes of the new series, and Peter Leonard is repping the Elmore Leonard estate. The gang’s all here!
Well, almost. Timothy Olyphant’s return as Raylan is not a done deal, and it’s not clear if he would star in the new series or just appear as a supporting character. (Carla Gugino, who played fellow Leonard character Karen Sisco on ABC, appeared in an episode of Justified. Due to rights issues, FX couldn’t use the name “Karen Sisco”, so the Justified writers inserted a joke about a pending divorce. At least this time, they will be able to call Raylan by his full name.) I could see it going either way. Raylan got into SERIOUS hot water with the Detroit mob throughout the run of Justified, so this could be a sequel series in which those chickens finally come home to roost for an older, maybe wiser Raylan (the series finale suggested he was able to put some of his ghosts to rest). But it could just as easily be centered on a new deputy who stumbles into Raylan’s years-old mess and has to try to clean it up.
Here’s my pitch that no one asked for. In the series finale, we never heard what happened to Tim Gutterson, the sarcastic bitch sniper who did a lot of mopping up after Raylan in Kentucky. Where did Tim go? Over the course of Justified’s six seasons, Tim had more character development and story arcs than any character not named “Raylan” or “Boyd”, but we never found out what happened to him. Obviously, TIM is the deputy in Detroit who stumbles into the mess connected to Raylan’s shady dealings in Kentucky years before. He would know enough of the players to recognize the signs when the sh-t starts to hit the fan. He would know EXACTLY who to call when it all goes sideways. This could be Better Call Saul but for Justified! Give a fan-favorite secondary character from the original show his own series and let us see where all these people are at years down the line through Tim Gutterson’s bitchy eyes. Look, I love Raylan Givens and would welcome Timothy Olyphant back as that character in any capacity, but Tim Gutterson is my #1 TV Sassy Bitch and I would watch every episode of a show centered on him three times over. Make it happen, TV gods.